J.D. Martinez and the Boston Red Sox keep piling up big offensive numbers — not to mention wins — against the Los Angeles Angels. Martinez hit his major league-leading 25th home run, Rafael Devers delivered a tiebreaking double and the Red Sox beat the skidding Angels 9-6 on Wednesday night after squandering a six-run lead. The homer by Martinez capped a six-run second for the Red Sox, who won for the fifth time in six games. Eduardo Nunez and Sandy Leon also went deep in the inning. Boston improved to 5-0 against the Angels this season and has outscored them 45-10 with 18 homers and a .363 batting average. It’s the most homers by any club in a season series of six games or fewer, according to the Red Sox. Martinez said: “I don’t know. That’s just what it is, really. There’s no one explanation. Maybe we just match up well against them.” Martin Maldonado launched a three-run homer and Ian Kinsler had a solo shot for the Angels, who lost their fifth straight and 12th in 16 games.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly emerged “as the clear-front favorites” to acquire Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the Dodgers are “poised” to trade for Machado after the Orioles pulled many of their scouts off of major-league duty to focus “primarily” on L.A.’s farm system. The Dodgers, of course, are a natural short-term landing spot for Machado. While they don’t have a long-term need at shortstop, they have a hole to fill after two-time All-Star Corey Seager was ruled out for the season following Tommy John surgery. Plus, they’re primed to make a run at a second straight National League pennant after rebounding from a 16-26 start with 26 wins in their last 36 outings. Machado, who turns 26 next month, is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Nightengale added that while the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies are likely to push hardest for Machado in advance of the trade deadline, the New York Yankees are still the “favorites” to sign him once he hits the open market. Machado entered Wednesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners hitting .301 with 19 home runs, 16 doubles and 55 RBI. His .920 OPS also ranks 11th among all qualified hitters.