J.D. Martinez dropped to sixth in Tigers’ batting order

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Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez had batted either fourth or fifth in his first 26 starts this season, but he is 2-for-25 with 16 strikeouts in his last six games and so the 27-year-old is getting a demotion of sorts for Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox.

Here is the Detroit starting lineup for Wednesday, with Martinez hitting sixth and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes getting the bump up to the fifth spot …

Martinez was a breakout star in 2014 at age 26, batting .315/.358/.553 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI in 123 games for Detroit. But he also showed flashes of promise during his time with the Astros before eventually falling back to earth. The former 20th-round pick is a .269/.315/.443 career hitter in the major leagues.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.