Royals have too much pitching, go to six-man rotation

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What other choice do they possibly have?  It’s not like you can up and demote Fantastic Felipe Paulino or Jeff “The Canadian Crusader” Francis.

With Kyle Davies returning from the disabled list this week, the Royals plan to go to a six-man rotation, possibly for the rest of the season, according to manager Ned Yost.

The career ERAs of the Royals’ six starters:

4.60 (Bruce Chen)
4.61 (Danny Duffy, eight career starts)
4.77 (Francis)
5.45 (Luke Hochevar)
5.55 (Paulino)
5.60 (Davies)

I’m not going to blame Yost for this.  Davies is the Royals’ highest-paid starter at $3.2 million, and the front office probably isn’t keen on making him a reliever or simply releasing him, even though he’s 1-6 with a 7.46 ERA.  And it wouldn’t really be fair to dump anyone from the current group to make room for Davies, though only Chen deserves any real semblance of job security based on his performance over the last year.

So, six it is, though probably only for a little while.  Davies can’t have much more rope, and it’s not like anyone from the group has diplayed much durability lately.  Davies, who is coming back from a sore shoulder,  was the only one of the six to make 25 starts last season.

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.