The Reds are one of the hottest teams in the majors and beat the Cubs on Wednesday night by a score of 4-1, but there won’t be much of a celebratory mood in the clubhouse afterward …
Billy Hamilton tweaked his hamstring on a seventh-inning at-bat after walking and stealing a base in the bottom of the third and smacking an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth. Brandon Phillips rolled over his left hand while attempting to make a play on an Anthony Rizzo grounder in the top of the eighth. Phillips looked to be in a good deal of discomfort as he walked off the field with a trainer stabilizing his left hand and wrist.
The Reds wrap up a five-game series with the Cubs on Thursday afternoon and it’s a safe bet that neither player will be available. Then comes a hugely-important three-game weekend set against the Pirates.
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.