Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero took a few shots at Tigers reliever and former teammate Jose Valverde on Friday night for the closer’s wild antics on the mound. It’s not the first time that an opponent has questioned Valverde’s animated jumps and fist pumps, and we usually don’t get a response from the intimidating ninth-inning man. But Montero must have really hit a nerve.
Here’s what Valverde offered to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro on Sunday morning:
“Tell Montero he’s a freaking rookie and I can do
whatever I want to. Tell him that. Put
it in the papers. If he wants to do something, tell him to come to my
locker and let me know. … I never liked Montero. He’s a (bleeping) piece of (bleep). … Tell Montero he has two years (in the majors) and I have eight.”
At least he got the service time correct on the second try. Montero fired back:
“He’s dumb. What do you want me to say? He’s smart? No. He’s just dumb.”
The Diamondbacks and Tigers will finish up a three-game interleague series on Monday then won’t meet again for the rest of the season . So if this thing is going to come to fisticuffs, it will have to happen today. Not that we’re rooting for a fight, or anything…
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.