With his dad at home watching on Father’s Day on Sunday, Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez slugged three home runs in a 12-4 win over the Yankees. Martinez had never hit two home runs in a game before, let alone three. And he even had a chance for a four-homer game, but flew out to right field in the seventh inning.
Martinez’s first home run came in the first inning with a man aboard, taking Masahiro Tanaka out to left-center to boost the Tigers’ lead to 4-0. He hit another one off of Tanaka in the fifth with the bases empty to make it a 7-2 game. In the sixth, he slugged a three-run shot off of reliever Danny Burawa, making his major league debut, to make it 11-2. Watch that third home run here:
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Martinez saw his OPS nearly dip below .700 in early May, but has rebounded in a big way. He’s currently batting .275/.333/.516 with 16 home runs and 41 RBI.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”