CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Napoli’s close encounter with the Progressive Field scoreboard Friday night impressed just about everyone who saw it.
Except for Napoli, it would seem.
The homer, a two-run blast, came in the third inning and landed near the top of the bleachers, a few feet below the scoreboard.
“To be honest you don’t really feel it off the bat,” he said of his 462-foot blast, one of five Cleveland home runs in a 10-2 rout over the New York Yankees. “I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. I swing hard.”
While Napoli shrugged it off, the reaction among his teammates was far more animated. Several players in the dugout pointed to where the ball landed and shook their heads in disbelief.
“Oh my gosh, we haven’t seen a batting practice one go there,” said Jason Kipnis, who homered twice. “That was fun one to watch.”
“Wow, I don’t know how you hit a ball that far,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Mark McGwire, playing for Oakland, is the only player to hit the scoreboard in the ballpark’s 22-year history on April 30, 1997. Jim Thome hit the longest home run, traveling 511 feet, on July 3, 1999.
Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also hit home runs, giving Cleveland a season-high five in one game.
All-Star Corey Kluber (9-8) allowed one run — Brian McCann’s solo homer — in eight innings. Kluber gave up five hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.
Rookie Chad Green (1-2) allowed all four homers and was charged with seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The AL-Central leading Indians bounced back from Thursday’s 5-4 loss that ended when a replay review overturned a call that would have loaded the bases with two outs.
Cleveland left no doubt about Friday’s game.
Santana and Kipnis started the first with home runs, coming on Green’s first eight pitches. Chisenhall added a two-run homer.
“Two doesn’t mean you’ve got the game won but it sure sets the tone,” Francona said. “It was nice to spread it out.”
Napoli’s fifth-inning single gave him three RBIs while Kipnis homered again in the seventh.
Kluber, added to the AL All-Star team Thursday, bounced back from a rocky start against Toronto on Sunday when he allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
“To go out there and get four runs in the first inning is a nice cushion but they poured it on and didn’t really stop,” he said.
“Man, he’s good,” New York first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “He’s a Cy Young for a reason. He’s an All-Star for a reason, just carving us up.”
Manager Joe Girardi said Teixeira, who left in the sixth inning, won’t play Saturday in order to rest his troublesome right knee.
McCann homered in the sixth and had both RBIs for the Yankees, who are 3-5 on a 10-game trip going into the All-Star break.
Carlos Beltran, still nursing a sore hamstring, was 1 for 4 as the designated hitter while Alex Rodriguez didn’t play for the third straight game.
The crowd of 34,045 was the Indians’ third sellout and second of their seven-game homestand. The team is expecting near-sellouts Saturday and Sunday.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (sore right shoulder) took batting practice for the second straight day and could begin a minor league rehab assignment during the All-Star break.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia, who faces the Indians on Saturday, has struggled in his last three starts, allowing 17 runs, including four homers, in 17 1/3 innings. He’s 5-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar, an AL All-Star, makes his final start before the break Saturday. His 2.36 ERA is the best in the league and fourth lowest in the majors. Salazar is 10-3 in 15 starts.
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