Mike Cameron returned to the Red Sox’s lineup on Sunday after missing five straight games with abdominal soreness. When asked what he hoped to bring to the batting order after such a long absence, here’s what he shared with the Providence Journal’s Dan Barbarisi:
“Sexiness and color,” Cameron laughed, before getting serious. “No, It’s
going to be kind of cool. I get a chance one more time to
run out here and see if I can play some baseball.”
Cameron is batting a healthy .271 with a .364 on-base percentage this year, but he’s struggled to stay active through a range of injuries. The 37-year-old missed 34 games earlier this season due to an ab strain and he hasn’t played in over 150 games since 2007. He’ll start about three times a week until the abdomen soreness fully dissipates.
That means both Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald will remain regularly-seen members of the Boston outfield. In fact, they’re both starting today alongside Cameron, marking the first time in 10 years that the Red Sox have featured an all African-American starting outfield. Good to see.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.