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Indians, Twins to play two-game series in Puerto Rico next season

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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the Indians and Twins will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a two-game series at hiram Bithorn Stadium April 17-18 next season. The games will be counted as Twins home games.

The last time regular season MLB games were held in Puerto Rico was seven years ago when the Mets and Marlins played a three-game series in June 2010.

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is from Puerto Rico, said, “It is a dream come true for me to play in Puerto Rico. When the Montreal Expos played in Puerto Rico [in 2003-04], I remember going to those games and thinking to myself, ‘I would love to be here playing in front of my country and people.’ Now that we have the opportunity next April, it is a dream realized for me. These will be the most memorable regular season games of my career, for sure.”

Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter said, “The Minnesota Twins are honored to visit Puerto Rico and represent Major League Baseball in this international showcase. The Twins look forward to joining MLB and the Cleveland Indians organization in celebrating Puerto Rico’s rich baseball heritage and growing influence on our game.”

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.