Ernesto Frieri clears waivers, accepts Pirates’ assignment to Triple-A

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Ernesto Frieri went from being the Angels’ closer to being designated for assignment by the Pirates in less than two months and now he’s passed through waivers unclaimed, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Frieri is only owed about $1 million for the remainder of this season, which isn’t a ton if some team wanted him as a reclamation project, but the problem is that his overall salary is $3.8 million and he’d be in line for similar money next year via the arbitration process. So to claim him with the intention to keep him for next season a team would have to think Frieri was worth $4 million or so in 2015.

Coming into this season that probably would have been a no-brainer, as Frieri had a career 2.76 ERA with 315 strikeouts in 231 innings. But he’s been a mess this season for two teams, posting a 7.34 ERA with 11 homers allowed in 42 innings. He’ll likely be non-tendered by the Pirates this offseason.

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.