Out since a hit by pitch late in spring training left him with a fractured hand, Clint Barmes will be activated from the disabled list and make his Astros debut tonight.
Barmes, who was acquired from the Rockies in November to take over as the Astros’ starting shortstop, returns from the injury in five weeks after initially being given a 4-6 week recovery timetable.
He’s been a plus defender at second base and shortstop for the Rockies, but Barmes is likely to disappoint offensively now that he’s no longer calling Coors Field home. His overall numbers have never been particularly impressive, but Barmes has been downright terrible on the road throughout his career, hitting just .224 with a .266 on-base percentage and .352 slugging percentage in 1,264 plate appearances.
To make room for Barmes on the roster the Astros designated veteran utility man Joe Inglett for assignment.
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.