Chien-Ming Wang halts intrasquad outing due to sore shoulder

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Chien-Ming Wang was supposed to pitch two innings in an intrasquad game today, but the rehabbing right-hander exited after one frame when his surgically repaired shoulder tightened up between innings.

Pitching coach Steve McCatty downplayed the setback, telling Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post that “he was just a little tight” and “there’s no sense in trying to rush it.” However, considering Wang’s last big-league appearance came in July of 2009 any further roadblocks at this point are noteworthy.

Prior to leaving the game Wang was clocked in the mid-80s with his fastball, which was typically in the low-90s before going under the knife. He earned $2 million without throwing a pitch for the Nationals last season and received $1 million in guaranteed money to re-sign after being non-tendered.

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.