April 3 (UPI) — Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion hit the second inside-the-park home run of his career against the Los Angeles Angels.
Encarnacion missed hitting one out of Angel Stadium by just inches in the second inning of the Indians’ 6-0 win on Monday. His last inside-the-park home run came in 2007. Encarnacion is one of the slowest base runners in Major League Baseball, according to Statcast.
He was facing Angels righty J.C. Ramirez with the score tied 0-0. Ramirez’s first offering was an 87.2-mph slider for a called strike. He then tossed in a 93.9-mph two-seam fastball. Encarnacion swatted the ball deep to left field.
Angels left-fielder Justin Upton sprinted to the warning track, but didn’t get there in time. The ball hit off of the foul line printed on the outfield wall padding and bounced back onto the field. Upton took his time getting up to pursue the ball. Encarnacion was at third base by the time Upton could get a throw into the infield. The Indians’ designated hitter scored standing up to give his squad an early lead.
“I’m still tired,” Encarnacion told reporters after the game. “It was a lot of running, but I like it. It’s good. I saw when the ball hit the wall. I knew I had a good chance to make it.”
Cleveland added another run in the third frame and put up a three spot in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. The Indians added their final run in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Brandon Guyer.
“It’s awesome, especially a guy like Eddie,” Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin said in his postgame interview with SportsTime Ohio. “When he hits a homer, he knows it. Just to see a guy who has been in the league that long with that many homers. He’s still running hard out of the box. Even to make it home. It says something about the way he plays the ball game.”
Encarnacion is hitting .308 and leads the league with three home runs in four games.