Max Scherzer was pulled for left-hander Drew Smyly with two on and two outs in the top of the sixth inning, so Joe Girardi called on Alex Rodriguez to pinch-hit for Raul Ibanez. However, there was no redemption to be found.
Rodriguez hit a routine fly ball to center field to strand two runners and leave the score at 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth in Game 4 of the ALCS.
The Yankees have just two hits on the day so far. They were held hitless until Eduardo Nunez led off the top of the sixth with a triple to the left-center field gap. He was then brought home on a one-out double to right-center by Nick Swisher. Scherzer issued a two-out walk to Mark Teixeira before being pulled to a standing ovation at Comerica Park. He struck out 10 and threw a total of 98 pitches.
Things are looking bleak for the Bombers at the moment, but the Tigers will need to rely on their bullpen to secure the sweep and advance to the World Series.
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.