Report: Dale Sveum the favorite for the Red Sox job

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Ken Rosenthal hears that Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum “appears to be the front-runner” for the Red Sox’ vacant managerial position.  Which, given that it’s not a race as much as it is a binary yes/no kind of thing, is not the most illuminating thing in the world, but you know how this stuff goes.

He may very well be the top choice. Earlier today Heyman said that he and Mike Maddux are favored by the Boston brass.  And because the Red Sox, Cubs and Cardinals are apparently playing a grand game of musical chairs here, you can kind of figure that Maddux is high on the Cubs list and that Pete Mackanin, Terry Francona and Ryne Sandberg are all eyeing each other warily, waiting for the music to stop.

Hell, all we need now is a “Mystery Manager” to enter the scene and this will be more fun than any chaotic December free agent rumor-fest we’re likely to get.

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.