Franmil Reyes is going to great lengths to endear himself to fans of the Cleveland Indians.
Reyes aims to continue his stellar play on Wednesday afternoon when the Indians vie for a three-game series sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Reyes belted a pair of solo homers among his three hits in Cleveland’s 7-4 victory on Tuesday. His first homer traveled 452 feet, landing just a few rows from the top of the bleachers in left field.
Reyes, in fact, believes he can reach the scoreboard with one of his majestic blasts.
“Of course. I thought I had it on the first one,” he said. “That’s what I was thinking about when I was running the bases.”
Reyes is batting a robust .435 at home. Furthermore, six of his team-leading seven homers and 14 of his club-best 17 RBIs have come in Cleveland.
“He’s got some of the best power I’ve ever seen, man, and it’s loud when he hits it. It’s fun to hear that in the bullpen,” Indians reliever James Karinchak said of his teammate.
Reyes is 12-for-27 with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs during the Indians’ current homestand.
Jose Ramirez, who has been a long-time fan favorite of the Indians’ faithful, has homered in both games of the series. He is 8-for-21 with two homers and four RBIs during his six-game hitting streak.
Cleveland has won three in a row to improve to 3-4 on its homestand. Conversely, Minnesota has dropped four straight and 13 of its last 15 games, although manager Rocco Baldelli was quick to defend his team’s effort despite receiving less-than-desirable results.
“It’s been about as tough as a stretch as I’ve seen in professional baseball,” Baldelli said. “The way we’ve played these games, we’ve had our guts ripped out over and over again. … Our guys have continued to give it everything they have.
“We haven’t played particularly well, it’s no secret. But I can’t be upset with the effort I’m getting from our guys or anything like that.”
One of the few bright spots in the early going has been left-hander J.A. Happ (1-0, 1.69 ERA), who will get the nod in the series finale.
Happ carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning before surrendering a one-out double in a 2-0 victory versus the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.
Happ, 38, owns a 3-2 record with a 4.19 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) versus Cleveland.
Nelson Cruz has hit safely in 15 of his last 18 games and Willians Astudillo has hit in five of his last six contests for Minnesota.
Indians left-hander Logan Allen (1-3, 6.28) looks to rebound after back-to-back tough outings when he takes the mound on Wednesday.
Allen, 23, yielded five runs in two innings of a 10-3 setback to the Cincinnati Reds on April 16 before surrendering four runs — including three homers — in 2 1/3 frames of a 5-3 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday.
Allen has yet to face Minnesota in his career.
–Field Level Media