The Phillies have activated Placido Polanco from the 15-day disabled list, according to Martin Frank of the Wilmington News Journal. He is batting second against Randy Wells and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
Polanco was cleared to return after playing in minor league rehab games on Thursday and Friday. He was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI for the GCL Phillies yesterday.
Polanco was batting .318/.349/.433 with five home runs and 27 RBI before going on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation on June 26. The hurting Phillies are batting just .224 with a .274 on-base percentage this month. Polanco’s return isn’t a cure-all and it’s not like his elbow is 100 percent, either, but he certainly represents a marked improvement over the garbage they’ve been throwing out there recently.
To make room on the roster for Polanco, the Phillies released Juan Castro.
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.