Manny Ramirez's return gets upstaged by Roger Clemens

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Dodgers manager Joe Torre already took a little bit of the fun out of Manny Ramirez’s return to Boston by announcing on Thursday that he would be the designated hitter during the series. And after all the hype and anticipation, Ramirez received what could best be described as a mixed reaction from the Boston crowd before he flew out to lead off the top of the second inning.

Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe brings word that a Manny tribute video shown during the game received only “tepid applause” from the crowd. So much for nostalgia.

In truth, most of the buzz before the game transitioned to a report by Peter Abraham of the Boston
Globe that claimed that not only would Roger Clemens be attending Friday’s
game, he
would be sitting in the “Monster Seats
.” It sounded like a silly rumor at first, but Clemens actually did it.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com provides us with the photo evidence. Ian Browne of MLB,com writes that reporters approached Clemens, however he declined comment.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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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.