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Slow start? Not quite for Lindor's glove

Cleveland sports 'End Racism' shirts because 'we are responsible to bring awareness'
@MandyBell02
July 26, 2020

CLEVELAND -- He may be having an uncharacteristically slow offensive start to the season, but Francisco Lindor’s defense is far from rusty. In the Indians' 3-2, 10-inning loss on Saturday to the Royals, Lindor dazzled with yet another highlight-reel play against Kansas City cleanup hitter Salvador Perez in the sixth

CLEVELAND -- He may be having an uncharacteristically slow offensive start to the season, but Francisco Lindor’s defense is far from rusty.

In the Indians' 3-2, 10-inning loss on Saturday to the Royals, Lindor dazzled with yet another highlight-reel play against Kansas City cleanup hitter Salvador Perez in the sixth inning.

The All-Star shortstop made a backhanded stop deep in the hole behind third baseman José Ramírez, turned and threw across his body with both feet off the ground. The sequence was punctuated with a scoop by first baseman Carlos Santana on a short hop to end the sixth inning.

Before lacing his first hit and RBI in Sunday's 9-2 win over the Royals, Lindor went 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Opening Day and, at the point of his stellar play in Saturday's game, had gone 0-for-2 with a flyout and a strikeout. Without any fans in the stands, it’s easier to hear when players are talking to each other, and there was no hiding Lindor yelling over to Perez after the play.

After the game, Lindor said he shouted: “If I don’t get any hits, nobody’s getting any hits.”

'End Racism' warm-up shirts
On Friday and Saturday, the Indians wore black shirts during batting practice that read “End Racism” on the front. There were four choices for words on the backs of each T-shirt: “Equality,” “Together,” “It’s Time” and “Change.”

“We wanted to do something,” Lindor said. “We wanted to bring awareness to the world and let everybody know we're on the same page as them, we feel them, we know that these are different times and change is due.

“And as a team, as the big platform we all have, we are responsible to bring awareness and let the world know we have to end racism. We have a big, big spotlight to be able to bring that awareness to the world. We don't have to go out there and fight, but the nonviolent protests like this are huge -- to be able to fight the fight without bringing violence and just expressing our feelings, it's a big part of what we do.”

Tito still pondering automatic runner rule
On Saturday night, the Indians had their first taste of the extra-inning rule that sends an automatic runner to second base to start each frame. Manager Terry Francona went home after the game and thought about his opinion of the new rule.

“I was trying to think about that last night, thinking if I’d have felt different if we’d won as opposed to because we lost,” Francona said. “That’s never a good way to make a decision. We’ve never done it before in baseball. I understand why they’re doing it now, so I haven’t given it a ton of thought. You’re handed whatever rules or whatever challenges you’re dealt and you do the best you can. Yesterday, the Royals did better than us. That’s kinda how I view it.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.