Busting it down the line trying to beat out a double-play ball, Derek Jeter suffered a bone bruise in his left ankle when he hit the bag awkwardly in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox.
Jeter was clearly in some pain and he was attended to after initially trying to make it back to the dugout on his own. Manager Joe Girardi and the trainer came out to look at him and help him off the field.
Girardi said after the game that Jeter has been bothered by soreness in the area for days, but that he expected his shortstop would attempt to play in Thursday’s series finale.
Casey McGehee replaced Jeter, with Jayson Nix moving from third base to short. Nix and Eduardo Nunez presumably would share time at short if Jeter is forced to miss a few games.
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.