Cleveland Indians right fielder Bradley Zimmer and Boston Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec have always stood out with their physical size, but lately it’s been about their impressive power.
Zimmer and Dalbec will share the same field for the first time when the Indians host the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.
Zimmer, a 6-foot-5 left-handed hitter, launched a 465-foot homer into the second deck in right field on Thursday night in Cleveland’s 10-6 win over the visiting Texas Rangers.
Zimmer, the 21st overall pick in the 2014 draft, drilled a 471-foot homer to straightaway center against the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 9.
“When he puts a good swing on it like he did (on Thursday), it’s pretty nice to see,” said Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale.
Dalbec was doing his own damage on Thursday night.
The 6-4, 227-pound right-handed hitter socked two home runs and drove in a career-high seven runs in Boston’s 12-2 win against the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Dalbec is hitting .347 (17-for-49) in August with five home runs and 19 RBIs, helping the Red Sox cling to the second American League wild-card spot.
“One pitch, one game at a time,” Dalbec said. “I think that’s the way we’ve got to roll the rest of the way. Not get too ahead of ourselves and not think about what’s already happened.”
Zimmer not only had the crowd in Cleveland buzzing with his blast into the second deck on Thursday, but his own teammates went wild.
“I just told (Zimmer), ‘You’ve given me something that I will always remember,'” Indians designated hitter Franmil Reyes said. “I will never forget about that homer.”
Hale said he turned to his coaches after the home run, some of whom have been in Cleveland longer than he has, and asked if they remember anyone hitting the ball in the second deck at Progressive Field. The only player they could recall doing so was Hall of Famer Jim Thome.
Zimmer also drove in a run with a ninth-inning single on Thursday, helping the Indians win for the fifth time in their past six games and move back over .500 for the first time since Aug. 2.
Hale was just as impressed with Zimmer’s ninth-inning at-bat.
“He took what the pitcher gave him,” Hale said. “I think that’s a good progressive frame of mind.”
Cleveland recalled Logan Allen from Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, and the left-hander is scheduled to start the series opener against Boston.
Allen (1-5, 9.13 ERA) has made seven starts for the Indians this season, with the most recent on July 5, when he gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. He did not get a decision in Cleveland’s 9-8 loss.
Allen, an eighth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2015, made his lone appearance against Boston on Aug. 14, 2019, throwing 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to start for Boston on Friday.
Rodriguez (9-7, 5.19 ERA) produced three solid starts in a row before putting up a dud in his last outing, allowing five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings Saturday in a 10-1 loss to the visiting Rangers.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA in three career starts against the Indians.
–Field Level Media