5:30 P.M.: It seems that the reports of Buck Showalter’s ascendancy are a bit premature. There’s nothing to suggest that deal between the Orioles and Showalter has had the kibosh placed upon it, but the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Showalter will not be named Orioles’ manager this weekend.
The link goes to a detailed breakdown between the Buck Showalter fact and Buck Showalter speculation that is well worth your time if you care at all about what’s going on in O’s land. Seems to me that, yeah, Showalter is going to get the job, but it’s not yet a done deal and anything can still happen.
Monday, 8:51 P.M.: A source tells Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse that Buck Showalter is expected to take over as Orioles manager on Saturday or Sunday.
Just yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted that the Orioles were negotiating with Showalter and that he was expected to be in uniform sometime after the All-Star break. It’s worth noting that the local beat writers have sung a decidedly different tune on this, but where there’s smoke, there’s probably some fire.
The O’s will probably play it cool over the 36 hours or so, as they don’t want to upstage the All-Star Game, but it wouldn’t be a shock to hear an official announcement on Wednesday.
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.