Josh Hamilton is back from the disabled list and to make room for his return to the active roster the Rangers have demoted top prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A.
Hamilton played just seven games for the Rangers before hurting his hamstring, which knocked him out for four weeks. He hit well in that brief showing, coming back from shoulder surgery, drug and alcohol relapses, and a trade from the Angels to hit .273 with two homers and a 1.021 OPS.
Oh, and this is fun: Hamilton and the Rangers play the Angels this weekend.
Gallo was initially called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre at third base and then shifted to left field when Beltre returned. He started out hot and then went into a slump, hitting .218 with five homers and a .754 OPS in 25 games. His batting average was ugly and as expected Gallo struck out a ton, but a 21-year-old posting a .754 OPS in his first taste of the majors is plenty impressive. His power potential is unmatched and he’ll be back in the second half.
In the meantime, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts in MLB history through any hitter’s first 25 career games:
Javier Baez 46
Joey Gallo 43
Giancarlo Stanton 41
George Springer 39
Brett Jackson 39
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.