We heard last weekend that Evan Longoria was close to ramping up his rehab from a hamstring injury, but it turns out that he’s not quite ready.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the team said after last night’s game that Longoria will not resume baseball activities until after the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Rays manager Joe Maddon conceded that his return is “not right around the corner.”
Longoria has been sidelined since suffering a partially torn left hamstring back on April 30. The 26-year-old third baseman began a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham last month, but he was shut down again after experiencing some discomfort in his second game. He’ll likely need a few weeks to get ready once he resumes baseball activities, so his absence is likely to stretch into August at this point.
Longoria was hitting .326/.433/.561 with four home runs, 19 RBI and a .994 OPS in 23 games prior to the injury. The Rays are 29-32 without him and entered today’s action at 44-30, seven games behind the Yankees in the American League East and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
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.