Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Pipeline

Lewis adds HR robbery to '20 highlight reel

@gregjohnsmlb
August 5, 2020

SEATTLE -- Kyle Lewis has proven he can hit home runs in the Majors, and now the Mariners’ rookie center fielder added robbing long balls to his repertoire. The hot-hitting 25-year-old went up above the fence in dead center in the seventh inning Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park and pulled

SEATTLE -- Kyle Lewis has proven he can hit home runs in the Majors, and now the Mariners’ rookie center fielder added robbing long balls to his repertoire.

The hot-hitting 25-year-old went up above the fence in dead center in the seventh inning Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park and pulled down a 402-foot drive by Angels catcher Jason Castro in Seattle's 5-3 loss.

Box score

“Kyle is really athletic,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He was jumping up over the wall in Anaheim on the last road trip and I said, ‘You’re going to get a few of those this year.’ And he said, 'I know. I will.’

“Kyle has played really well. You couldn’t ask for much more than what he’s done early in the season, offensively, defensively he’s in tune with the game. He’s playing with a smile on his face.”

Lewis opened the season with a 10-game hitting streak that included three home runs. Though he saw that streak snapped with an 0-for-4 on Monday, he bounced back with a double high off the right field wall in a 1-for-4 night on Tuesday and leads the Majors with 18 hits while batting .375 with a 1.006 OPS.

At 6-foot-4, Lewis is a rangy center fielder and has impressed the Mariners with his defense since returning to Summer Camp last month following three months of personal workouts with speed and strength coaches in Georgia.

Though he initially was penciled into a corner-outfield spot, Lewis came up in the Minors primarily as a center fielder and has convinced Servais he belongs there.

“He certainly has,” said the fifth-year manager. “His jumps off the bat are really good, his routes are good. He certainly can stop those guys from going first to third. He brings a lot of plusses out there and he likes it. He likes being in charge in center field. So why not? We’ll keep him out there as long as we can.”

It doesn’t hurt when he goes above the fence to bring one back.

“That was awesome,” said Mariners right fielder Dylan Moore. “It was one of those high ones where you get there in time and just have to time your jump well. He did everything right. I had the best view for sure.”

The 2016 first-round Draft pick out of Mercer University also hit six homers in 18 games last season as a September callup, including an MLB-record six in his first 10 games.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.