Not only did Mike Trout go 6-for-9 with two doubles and four runs in back-to-back wins over the Giants the past two nights, in doing so he logged enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title (and other leaderboards).
Trout, who spent the first three weeks of the season at Triple-A, now ranks second in the league with a .338 batting average, trailing only Paul Konerko at .354, and he also ranks third in on-base percentage (.397) and fifth in OPS (.925) while leading the league with 19 steals.
Toss in his excellent outfield defense and even with missing the Angels’ first 20 games Trout ranks third among AL position players in Wins Above Replacement behind only Josh Hamilton and Adam Jones. He’s very much a legitimate early MVP candidate despite playing around two-thirds of the schedule.
Not bad for a guy who doesn’t turn 21 years old for another six weeks.
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.