Tony Cingrani pulled from start with more back problems

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Tony Cingrani spent 11 days on the disabled list from late August to early September because of a lower back strain. And the issue won’t go away.

According to beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the rookie left-hander was lifted from his start Tuesday night against the Cubs with back spasms. Cingrani surrendered two earned runs on three hits and a walk over just 1 2/3 innings.

The Reds had been planning to use right-hander Johnny Cueto as a long reliever upon his expected mid-September return from a severe right lat strain, but if Cingrani’s back problems don’t fade Cueto may have to be pushed back into the starting rotation.

Cingarni, 24, owns a 2.92 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 120/43 K/BB ratio in 104 2/3 frames this season.

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.