Roy Oswalt: team player

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Roy Oswalt stunk up the joint starting for the Rangers, so they moved him to the bullpen. Texas needs the bullpen help and, in his first two outings as a reliever, Oswalt has been darn good, pitching three scoreless innings.

But yesterday, when Ron Washington wanted one more inning out of him, Oswalt said no, despite the fact that he hasn’t been worked particularly hard lately.  Evan Grant reports:

Manager Ron Washington was ready to send Oswalt back out for the ninth inning of what was then a tie game, but Oswalt declined … “He said he couldn’t go any further,” Washington said. “He said he had enough. To get anymore, you have to ask him.”

That, combined with Jon Daniels’ acknowledgment that Oswalt and/or his agent has voiced his displeasure with moving to the pen sure makes it sound like Oswalt is pouting.

When Oswalt held off signing with anyone at the beginning of the year and then went to Texas, he said that he wanted to be in the position to get a World Series ring. Now he’s with a team that stands a good chance of getting one, and he apparently doesn’t want to do what’s necessary to get that ring.

But hey, if starting is more important to him, I’m sure Houston would welcome him back.

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.