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Lindor leads Puerto Rico with 2 huge homers

MLB.com

Francisco Lindor's first hit in the 2017 World Baseball Classic was a memorable one, as the Indians shortstop smacked a two-run home run in the first inning of Puerto Rico's Pool D matchup against Mexico on Saturday. The 23-year-old All-Star launched another long ball in the seventh inning as part of a stellar 3-for-5 night in Puerto Rico's 9-4 victory.

Lindor was one of the only quiet members of Puerto Rico's lineup in its 11-0 tournament-opening win against Venezuela, in which he went 0-for-2 with a walk. That all changed in a hurry Saturday night, however, when the Indians star unloaded on a 1-2 pitch from Mexico starter Miguel Gonzalez (White Sox), sending the ball over the billboards in right field at Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. The mammoth homer gave Puerto Rico a 2-0 advantage two batters into the game.

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Francisco Lindor's first hit in the 2017 World Baseball Classic was a memorable one, as the Indians shortstop smacked a two-run home run in the first inning of Puerto Rico's Pool D matchup against Mexico on Saturday. The 23-year-old All-Star launched another long ball in the seventh inning as part of a stellar 3-for-5 night in Puerto Rico's 9-4 victory.

Lindor was one of the only quiet members of Puerto Rico's lineup in its 11-0 tournament-opening win against Venezuela, in which he went 0-for-2 with a walk. That all changed in a hurry Saturday night, however, when the Indians star unloaded on a 1-2 pitch from Mexico starter Miguel Gonzalez (White Sox), sending the ball over the billboards in right field at Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. The mammoth homer gave Puerto Rico a 2-0 advantage two batters into the game.

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:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

"I was looking for the pitch that he threw me, and I knew," Lindor said of his first-inning blast. "I hit it with everything."

Lindor turned back toward the plate and tossed his bat before he began his home run trot. His second round-tripper, a solo shot to right field in the seventh, padded Puerto Rico's advantage to 5-1.

Puerto Rico was able to withstand Mexico's three-run rally in the seventh with four runs of its own in the top of the ninth -- one of them scored by Lindor. As Pool D's only 2-0 team, the 2013 finalists can clinch the pool's top seed with a win against Italy on Sunday (3:30 p.m ET live on MLB Network and MLB.TV).

"Whatever we need in order to win a championship, the chemistry is there, the batting is there, the pitching is there," Lindor said of his club. "It's a matter of playing ball correctly."

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Matt Kelly and Austin Laymance are reporters for MLB.com.

Puerto Rico, Francisco Lindor