When Marlon Byrd was suspended yesterday a lot of people immediately looked, so to speak, at Victor Conte. Conte being (a) Byrd’s supplement guru; and (b) the guy behind BALCO, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones and all the rest.
“I didn’t have anything to do with this,” said Conte when reached for comment. Yeah. Sure. Just what a dirty ex-con drug dealer would say! Get ’em, boys!
“Victor had nothing to do with this,” Byrd told USA TODAY Sports in a text message. “He didn’t know about me taking tamoxifen or the positive test until two days ago” … The drug was supplied by a holistic lifestyle coach, Conte said, that Byrd declined to identify.
Byrd has taken a lot of crap over the years for working with Conte. But dude, he should be under WAY more scrutiny for listening to something called a “holistic life coach.”
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.