Tigers outfielder Leonys Martin was forced to make an early departure from Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays. In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, he laid down a bunt to score Niko Goodrum, then came up limping at first base.
Martin was swiftly replaced at first by pinch-runner Victor Reyes, and not a moment too soon, as Nicholas Castellanos picked a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ and returned it for a grand slam. Jose Iglesias tacked on another two-run single in the sixth, boosting the Tigers to a much-needed six-run lead over the Blue Jays. They currently lead 7-1 in the ninth and seemed well-positioned for a win — which, if they pull it off, will be their first since June 17.
While Martin was diagnosed with nothing more serious than a cramp in his left hamstring, it’s the same one that plagued him during his 10-day stint on the disabled list earlier this season. Undoubtedly the Cubs will continue to monitor him for any sign of something more serious, though he’s presumed to be day-to-day for the time being. Prior to his exit, the outfielder went 1-for-3 with an RBI. He entered Sunday’s contest batting a middling .256/.327/.432 with nine home runs and a .759 OPS in 303 plate appearances.
Mets second baseman Robinson Canó is not in the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the division rival Nationals. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it’s punishment for failing to run hard on a pair of double plays over the weekend against the Marlins.
Manager Mickey Callaway said, “He understands that it’s unacceptable to not run balls out. He understands that he needs to do that at all times.”
Canó first gaffe came in the top of the seventh inning on Friday, with his team trailing 7-3. Facing Adam Conley, Canó hit a grounder back to the pitcher, who turned a 1-6-3 double play. Canó was only halfway up the first base line when the throw got to first base.
In the fourth inning on Sunday, with the game still scoreless, Canó tapped a Sandy Alcantara pitch in the dirt. Thinking it was foul, Canó didn’t run, but catcher Chad Wallach charged and grabbed the ball while it was still in fair territory. He threw to second base for the force out and then the ball was easily whipped to first base to complete the double play as Canó still thought it was foul.
This likely wouldn’t be as big a deal as it currently is if Canó were actually producing at the plate and if the Mets weren’t in a freefall. Canó has a .245/.293/.374 batting line on the season. Meanwhile, the Mets are 20-25 and riding a five-game losing streak which includes having been shut out in each of their last two games.