Zack Greinke playing catch again after rib fracture

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Some good news on the Zack Greinke front.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning that Greinke played catch yesterday for the first time since being shut down with a fractured rib earlier this month. Specifically, Roenicke said that Greinke “felt great” and “the pain is gone.”

It’s nice to hear he’s making progress, but Greinke will essentially have to start from scratch with his throwing program. As such, Roenicke said last weekend that it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to return by April 16, a date which was previously considered the best-case scenario. Now they’d probably be thrilled to have him back by the end of April.

With Greinke sidelined, the Brewers are expected to decide between Marco Estrada or the newly-acquired Sergio Mitre to fill the void in their starting rotation. The club won’t need a fifth starter for the first time until April 6 against the Braves.

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.