Trevor Plouffe hasn’t played since jamming his right thumb on a swing back on July 20, but he could be back in the Twins’ starting lineup on Monday if all goes according to plan.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Plouffe was cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment after making it through batting practice last night without any discomfort in his thumb. He’s slated to play with Triple-A Rochester on Saturday and Sunday and could be activated for Monday’s series opener against the Tigers.
Plouffe has been a pleasant surprise for the fourth-place Twins this season, batting .259/.330/.425 with 19 home runs, 38 RBI and an .855 OPS in 74 games played.
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.