Adam Wainwright threw seven scoreless innings last night. Which is not a big deal as he does that kind of thing a lot. But the bullpen threw two more scoreless innings and the opponent was the Rays and that amounted to the third straight shutout of the apparently doomed team from Tampa Bay. The Rays are the first AL team to be shut out since the Twins did it in 2004.
That, plus the final inning of their loss on Saturday, adds up to 28 consecutive scoreless innings for Tampa Bay, which broke the old franchise record of 26 innings, set in 2002. That Devil Rays team finished 55-106.
They’re currently on pace to go 59-103, so I guess things could be worse.
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.