NEW YORK — I know we’re only two games into the 2020 season but you can’t help but get excited when you see guys like designated hitters Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnación smother baseball’s over fences and into the the seats of a major league ballpark.
The Chicago White Sox hosted the Minnesota Twins on Saturday and it was a sight for long balls at Guaranteed Rate Field. Both Dominican veterans hit home runs to record their first dingers of the 60-game season.
Cruz’s home run was recorded a foot shy of 400-feet with an exit velocity of 108 mph. Not bad, for a 40-year-old veteran, who shows no signs of slowing down. Both veterans can be found in opposite dugouts but their in-tuned home runs resemble their long and boisterous careers that both began in 2005.
Like any padawan, 23-year-old Eloy Jiménez was taking some lessons from the on-deck circle when he watched Encarnación go yard against Zack Littell. Jiménez was able to pressure enough momentum on a four-seam fastball to get it to bounce off the right field wall to go back-to-back off Littell.
— Latino Sports (@LatinoSports) July 25, 2020
The man who sparked elation within the White Sox dugout was Santiago native, Leury García. The 29-year-old second baseman, who was penciled in the ninth spot in the lineup, highlighted the night with three hits, three runs, two home runs and four RBI. One homer off Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer was annihilated, traveling 419-feet into the left field seats.
“We have a pretty good team,” García said after helping the White Sox earn their first win. “Obviously they had a pretty good team as well. We all know what they can do. But at the same time we’re not trying to hit home run. We just try to score some runs and win some games.”
— MLB Dominicana (@MLBDominicana) July 25, 2020
“Today you had contributions up and down the line up,” catcher James McCann stated concerning the impressive offensive turnout on Saturday. “It’s really the next man up mentality. Hitting is contagious. Watching guys at the top of the order, having it transferred down that way, all the way through nine. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
The White Sox have rejuvenated faith within their clubhouse with key acquisitions made in the offseason with the signing of Encarnación, Dallas Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal and 2017 LatinoMVP Gio González. For Jiménez, Tim Anderson and José Abreu — who led the club with 33 home runs and 123 RBI in 2019 — the hope is to become a force within the American League Central and compete with teams like the Bomba Squad and Cleveland Indians.
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