Yesterday third base coach Brian Butterfield left the Blue Jays to take the same job on John Farrell’s new staff in Boston, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Butterfield could wind up right back in Toronto as manager.
Bradford spoke to an unnamed source who told him that Butterfield remains a candidate in the Blue Jays’ search to replace Farrell and Farrell himself basically confirmed that by replying “yes, it’s a rare opportunity and we would certainly not block that” when asked about the situation.
You know, because the whole Farrell/Red Sox/Blue Jays thing needed a little more drama involved.
Farrell also brought Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo with him to Boston as bench coach. Butterfield had been with the Blue Jays since 2002.
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.