Had things worked out as planned, the Twins would have had Luke Hughes at second base, Trevor Plouffe in right field and Joe Mauer behind the plate tonight against the Yankees. That Mauer is instead in right field is because Luke Hughes showed up at the wrong airport gate after getting news of his promotion.
Which, frankly, is a little amazing. Hughes knew last night that he was joining the Twins today, which probably meant that he was flying out of Lehigh Valley International Airport, since Lehigh Valley is where the Rochester Red Wings played Wednesday. And while I’ve never had the pleasure, I can’t imagine navigating Lehigh Valley International Airport, with its 15 gates between two buildings, could get all that confusing.
So, the Twins are probably none too happy with Hughes at the moment. And now we’ll get to see if Mauer handles his exposure to unfamiliar territory any better than Hughes did.
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.