Brett Gardner’s rehab assignment pushed back due to rainout

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UPDATE: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was rained out tonight, so Gardner won’t begin his rehab assignment until tomorrow.

Gardner is expected to play two rehab games, so he won’t rejoin the Yankees until Thursday at the earliest.

12:48 PM: Brett Gardner wasn’t ready to come off the disabled list when eligible last week, but the Yankees left fielder is very close to returning from an elbow injury.

Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that Gardner will begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A, with manager Joe Girardi indicating that he may only need 2-3 games there before rejoining the Yankees’ lineup.

Gardner has been out since April 18 and his absence combined with Nick Swisher also getting hurt has led to the Yankees turning to the likes of Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, and DeWayne Wise in the outfield corners.

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.