Top prospect Lindor delivers first career blast
Known for slick defense, Indians top prospect powers up against Tigers
CLEVELAND -- It was a day of firsts for Indians rookie shortstop Francisco Lindor on Wednesday afternoon.
The top prospect slugged his first career home run and gave the Indians a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning in an eventual Indians' 8-2 victory over the Tigers. Lindor's inaugural blast came on an 0-1 fastball by righty Buck Farmer and just cleared the right-field wall at Progressive Field.
"I'm not used to hitting home runs; I don't hit home runs," Lindor said with a laugh. "I knew I got something good, but then I saw [right fielder] J.D. [Martinez] turn around. I was just trying to go two, but it went over the fence. I'm happy."
In the first inning, he had drawn his first Major League walk. In the third, he made his first out on the bases, when he overran second base on a Michael Brantley single and was tagged out. Lindor finished the day 2-for-3 with the homer, two walks, a run and two RBIs. The baserunning gaffe was quickly forgotten after the solo blast.
"You saw some of the youth with Francisco rounding second, not knowing where the ball was," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Those things are the things that we talk about. They're going to happen. But to his credit, he owns up to it right away and wants to listen and not do it again. So that's good."
Lindor received the ball from the fan who caught it in exchange for some personalized memorabilia.
He also remained upright while rounding first base, something he was unable to do during his first Major League hit, when he tripped while rounding first base.
"Thank God, man," Lindor said with a smile. "Thank God."
The slick-fielding shortstop hit two home runs in Triple-A Columbus before being called up by the Indians on June 13, and he slugged 11 in split time between Columbus and Double-A Akron last season.
"Whenever I can do something to help the team, it's very exciting," Lindor said. "I got that out of the way. I sprinted around first base -- I'm not really used to that."