Reyes' pair of jacks cause family celebration

Cleveland slugger's 9th multi-homer game backs stellar Plesac (7 strong IPs)

April 10th, 2021

CLEVELAND -- was uncharacteristically at a loss for words.

The Indians’ slugger just walked off the field after his ninth career multi-homer game to help lead the Tribe to a 4-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night at Progressive Field, but when he was asked about who he was pointing to as he rounded first base after each long ball, he struggled to put his sentences together.

Any eye that followed the direction of his finger was led to his family sitting just above The Corner down the right-field line, jumping out of their seats as they watched the ball that Reyes blasted land deep into the bleachers in left field.

“It's really special to me and it kind of gets me going for the game,” Reyes said. “Especially to have Franmil Jr. here. I don't know if he's out there with mama watching the game, but wherever he is in the daycare, it's cool.”

Franmil Jr. is Reyes’ youngest child and his only son. He was born toward the end of the 2019 season, but had to miss watching his dad play in person in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So for Reyes to know that his entire family is back in the ballpark again to watch him play in person, he needs little other motivation.

As excited as his family was, no one should be more elated to see Reyes record his ninth career multi-homer game than the Indians. On Wednesday, the Tribe sat back and watched José Ramírez record his own two-homer game to help hand his team a victory. Although Cleveland still hasn’t been able to string its hits together, it had to be reassuring for the club to at least see someone else take on some of the offensive workload two days later.

“That's two games in a row where we've had one guy kind of carry our offense,” manager Terry Francona said. “But it's been enough because we've pitched pretty well. We'll take it.”

Over the past year, Cleveland has gotten countless quality starts from its pitching staff, but the offense hasn’t been quite as consistent. The Tribe walked away with only one victory against Detroit in the opening series last weekend, despite all three starters going at least six innings and giving up three or fewer runs. But this time, Reyes wasn’t letting Zach Plesac, who tossed a seven-inning gem on Friday, walk away empty handed.

“I mean it’s a lot more fun when you score runs and when you’re in the lead,” Plesac said. “Kudos to our guys in the lineup who have been swinging it real well, hitting the ball hard a lot of places all over the field. Sometimes they just haven’t been falling lately. But today, they fell like they should, and we racked up the runs.”

Reyes’ first long ball traveled a projected 409 feet, according to Statcast, one-third of the way up the left-field bleachers. But that wasn’t nearly enough for the Indians’ ferocious slugger. After a single in the third, Reyes topped his first-inning performance by destroying a 94.9-mph heater 446 feet toward Heritage Park, marking his longest home run at Progressive Field (his seventh-longest overall). And as long as he continues to play the Tigers, his bat should stay hot.

In 18 career games against Detroit, Reyes has hit .328 with nine homers and 20 RBIs. His nine long balls are the most he’s hit against any opponent in his career. His eighth and ninth blasts on Friday tied him with Nelson Cruz for the third-most homers against the Tigers since 2019, trailing Jorge Soler (11) and Eloy Jimenez (10).

“It feels great,” Reyes said on Bally Sports Cleveland’s postgame show. “I hit it right on the barrel. I got a fastball down the middle. I had to crush it.”