After bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and Baltimore all season Kevin Gausman will finally get an extended stay in the Orioles’ rotation because of an injury, as the team placed Ubaldo Jimenez on the disabled list with a sprained ankle and announced that Gausman will replace him in the rotation.
Jimenez apparently injured his ankle in the parking lot Wednesday, as manager Buck Showalter explained to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:
He stepped in a hole in the parking lot. We were looking at it today. It’s pretty puffy, taped up. He tried to take a work day yesterday. We were hoping that it would resolve somewhat today, it did not and he’s not going to be able to start tomorrow.
“He stepped in a hole in the parking lot” is a new one, as far as weird injuries go.
Jimenez has been a huge disappointment in the first season of a four-year, $50 million contract, going 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA and league-high 60 walks in 100 innings. Gausman, meanwhile, has a 3.51 ERA in six starts and the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft has looked ready to emerge as a front-line starter.
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.