David Price gave the Rays a bit of a scare last night, as he made an early exit from his start against the Tigers due to lower back tightness. Price allowed two runs over his first seven innings and was throwing his warm-up pitches for the eighth before leaving the game.
The good news for the Rays is that it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, the southpaw recalled Jered Weaver’s recent back injury and simply didn’t want to risk making things worse.
“It’s just something I want to be careful with,” Price said. “I’ll be fine.”
Price holds a 2.92 ERA and 97/35 K/BB ratio over 104 2/3 innings this season and is currently tied with Rangers’ left-hander Matt Harrison for the American League lead with 11 wins. He fully intends to make his next start.
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.