CLEVELAND — Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is no stranger to leading off a game with a home run, but never before has he done so as emphatically as he did in Monday night’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
Lindor locked in on a 1-1 pitch from White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez and smashed the offering 435 feet deep into the right-field seats, and it left the bat travelling 112.8 miles per hour, good enough for the hardest-hit home run of his Indians career.
The Indians had just two hits in the game against Lopez and the White Sox, and both belonged to Lindor.
He went two for two with one run scored, two runs driven in, one walk and a sacrifice fly.
Limited to 21 games after suffering a calf strain and later, a sprained ankle, while working out in preparation for spring training and the 2019 season, Lindor is hitting .296 with 24 hits in 81 at-bats, 11 runs scored, 11 RBI and six walks. Of those 24 hits, six went for extra bases including one double and five home runs. Also, Lindor is four for five in stolen base attempts.
Lindor has a .333 on-base, as well as .494 slugging and .827 on-base-plus-slugging percentages through his first 21 games of the season.
Despite missing 19 games because of the injuries, Lindor has had plenty of reasons to smile over the last three weeks.
In a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston on April 26, Lindor became the third-fastest Indians player and third-fastest shortstop in Major League Baseball history to reach the 100-home run plateau.
In Indians history, only Hal Trosky (23 years, 307 days) and Manny Ramirez (25 years, 70 days) were younger than Lindor (25 years, 163 days) when they hit their 100th career home runs.
In Major League history, Alex Rodriguez (23 years, 16 days) and Cal Ripken Jr. (24 years, 356 days) are the only players to reach 100 home runs faster than Lindor and play at least 90 percent of their games at shortstop.