UPDATE: Roger McDowell confirmed to Mark Bowman of MLB.com that he will indeed remain with the Braves. Meanwhile, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that McDowell will get a two-year deal as opposed to the one-year deal that was originally offered.
4:31 p.m. ET: It was reported on Thursday that Roger McDowell could leave the Braves to take the pitching coach job with the Phillies, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com hears that he is staying put.
McDowell has enjoyed a great deal of success since taking over for Leo Mazzone in Atlanta and is highly-regarded for his preparation and attention to detail, so losing him to a division rival would have been a tough blow. He was free to talk to teams after his contract expired earlier this week, but it’s unclear whether he actually had an interview with the Phillies.
The Phillies let go of pitching coach Rich Dubee last month after nine seasons on the job. The search for his replacement continues.
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.