DETROIT -- There aren’t a great deal of home runs to straightaway center field at Comerica Park. There are even fewer homers where the center fielder takes a few steps back and then pulls up to watch the ball fly out.
But White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada hit both of those targets in the first inning of Friday night’s 7-3 win over the Tigers. Moncada connected on a 1-1 slider from Jordan Zimmermann, the ball leaving the bat at 109.3 mph, and Moncada set a new personal record with the 458 feet his sixth homer was projected to travel, per Statcast.
“It was kinda loud, so I knew he hit it fairly good,” said Detroit catcher Grayson Greiner. “But right off the bat, I was like, 'This is Comerica Park. That ball's not getting out.' And then it got out by a good bit. I could tell right then that if you got it up in the air tonight, the ball's gonna go a little bit.”
“Pito [Jose Abreu] went into the hedges a couple of times,” said White Sox bench coach and acting manager Joe McEwing. “I haven't seen a ball travel that far here before.”
Moncada also has a team-best 18 RBIs, picking up a second one Friday with a bases-loaded walk. He had six homers and 13 RBIs in all of March and April in 2018.
“He’s doing things we all knew he could do,” said Abreu, through interpreter Billy Russo. “Now he has a chance to display what he can do. Amazing, and I’m just trying to guide him.”