Danny Duffy likely headed for Tommy John elbow surgery

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UPDATE: After being examined by the Royals’ team doctor Duffy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is the injury that requires Tommy John surgery. He’ll seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum first, but it looks like season-ending surgery for the promising left-hander. What a shame.

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Danny Duffy exited yesterday’s start in the first inning with a sore elbow and the Royals left-hander is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today.

Duffy faced just three hitters before noticeably shaking his arm in discomfort, at which point manager Ned Yost and a trainer made a mound visit and removed him from the game.

Yost said afterward that he wasn’t going to take any changes with the 23-year-old Duffy, who also missed a start with elbow tightness three weeks ago.

Kansas City is very deep in young hitting talent, but losing Duffy would be a big blow to a pitching staff that still needs plenty of help. After a rough rookie season Duffy has thrown 28 innings with a 3.90 ERA and 28/18 K/BB ratio while showing off impressive fastball velocity.

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.