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Yoenis Cespedes likely to bat second for Mets

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As MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been batting second in the Mets’ lineup this season because new manager Mickey Callaway believes that his team’s best hitters should receive the most at-bats.

Cespedes has batted second in just 39 games out of 788 in his career, though he’s had good production — batting .289/.328/.624 with 15 home runs and 34 RBI in 183 plate appearances. Cespedes has also performed well this spring, launching three home runs in 23 at-bats across eight games.

DiComo suggests that Cespedes will bat second at least against right-handed pitchers with a left-handed hitter like Brandon Nimmo or Asdrubal Cabrera (switch) leading off. DiComo also suggests the Mets may bat their pitcher eighth as well.

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.