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Reds sign first-round draft pick Hunter Greene

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The Reds signed first-round draft pick Hunter Greene on Friday afternoon, cutting it close as the deal was struck just minutes prior to the 5 PM deadline. Greene, a 17-year-old right-hander, was projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the months leading up to the 2017 draft and ultimately landed in the No. 2 slot as the Reds’ first pick. Per MLB.com’s Jim Callis, the high school righty is expected to take home a bonus of $7.23 million, the “highest bonus ever in [the] bonus pool era.”

Had the team failed to reach a deal with Greene, they would have received the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Reds’ general manager Dick Williams spoke to the stressful situation, telling MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, “It was just tough because there was a lot at stake. What made going through today a little easier was knowing that Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, my staff, Chris Buckley, we were all a united front on where we wanted to go with this negotiation. That made it easy.”

While Williams said his team would have been at peace regardless of the outcome, it was clear they netted a special talent in Greene. The Notre Dame High School alumnus has the high-octane fastball and developing breaking balls necessary to hold a spot in the rotation, and boasts impressive skills at short as well. The club has yet to announce Greene’s next move, but Sheldon adds that the right-hander will likely be assigned to either the Arizona League Reds or rookie-ball Billings Mustangs.

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.