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Lindor goes deep for Indians' lone spark in G2

Shortstop connects vs. Cole in 3rd inning before Astros' rally
October 6, 2018

HOUSTON -- Very little went right for the Indians against Gerrit Cole in Game 2 of the American League Division Series -- or really, against any Houston pitcher through two games of the best-of-five set they trail, 0-2. But one sweet swing from Francisco Lindor in the third inning Saturday

HOUSTON -- Very little went right for the Indians against Gerrit Cole in Game 2 of the American League Division Series -- or really, against any Houston pitcher through two games of the best-of-five set they trail, 0-2. But one sweet swing from Francisco Lindor in the third inning Saturday at Minute Maid Park did provide a glimmer of hope.
:: ALDS schedule and results ::
Lindor took Cole deep with a solo shot on a two-strike slider left over the heart of the plate to give the Indians their first lead of the series. Alas, it would not hold up as Cole and the Astros' bullpen did not let another Tribe hitter get past first base in Cleveland's 3-1 loss.
When Lindor connected on his 103.2-mph blast to the right-field seats (there was no exit velocity reading available when an Astros fan tossed the ball back on the field of play in protest), he looked back and roared at the Tribe's dugout, and it appeared the Indians had the offensive spark they have been searching for.
"I was hoping," Lindor said. "It seemed like we had good at-bats. I know we struck out a lot of times [14 total], but we had good at-bats. It's just the hits haven't fallen."
Lindor's homer was his first in the postseason since his momentous grand slam in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees last year.
On the whole, though, Lindor has struggled in the Tribe's past two trips to October. He is a combined 4-for-26 with eight strikeouts going back to Game 1 of the Yankees' series last year, and those issues in the leadoff spot have set a tone for a Tribe team that has been held to eight runs over its past five postseason games.
Serving as the Indians' leadoff hitter in the regular season, Lindor became the first shortstop to have at least 35 homers, 40 doubles and 20 stolen bases.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.