Francisco Lindor came alive Thursday night, belting two home runs and finishing with four hits and four RBI’s in the Indians 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The big night was great to see, as everybody’s favorite shortstop had been struggling lately. Lindor was hitting just .239 over the last 30 days, with a dismal .664 OPS. Ugly, for sure, but hopefully that is over.
Lindor’s first homer was the lead-off variety, his seventh like that this year. His second home run, another solo shot, came in the third inning. Both homers weren’t moon shots or 500+ foot Trevor Story-type bombs, but were long enough to clear the right field wall of the Rogers Centre. Lindor now has 33 home runs and 84 RBI’s on the season.
Lindor’s homers gave the Tribe the early lead, but the Blue Jays answered with four runs of their own in the fourth inning. Indians starter Shane Bieber gave up two doubles, a single, and walked a batter in the frame. One of the runs was unearned due to a Yonder Alonso error at first base.
The Indians came right back in the top of the fifth with three runs to take a 5-4 lead, thanks to singles from Yan Gomes, Greg Allen, Lindor, and a double from Brandon Guyer.
Bieber wasn’t amazing but worked out of small jams and ended up going 6 and 1⁄3 innings while keeping the good guys on top. He allowed just those three earned runs. The right-hander struck out six and earned his ninth win of the year. There’s no doubt Bieber has a bright future for the Tribe.
Other fun notes from the game include Jason Kipnis absolutely smashing a three-run homer to right field in the ninth (his 15th HR) and Edwin Encarnacion adding three hits of his own.
Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to start game two of the series Friday night, facing off against the Blue Jays Marco Estrada. I like our chances.