Yasiel Puig might be on his third team in the last calendar year, but he’s still Yasiel Puig. That identity was in full view as the Cleveland Indians outfielder ran the bases on Friday in an American League Central showdown.
After singling to lead off the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins, Puig ran all the way to third on a throwing error from Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak. For those not paying close attention, it was a standard advancement off an error.
Those focusing on the runner, however, got a pair of those quintessential Puig moments. As he ran past second, the Wild Horse waved goodbye to the Twins players in right field.
After he slid safely into third, Puig only got up after blowing a kiss to the home crowd.
In the last 12 months, Puig has kissed a former teammate-turned-playoff opponent after getting thrown out on the basepaths, hit a Game 7 home run, squabbled with the Los Angeles Dodgers over playing time, gotten traded to the Cincinnati Reds, attempted to fight the entire Pittsburgh Pirates team, worn a t-shirt of himself doing so in the form of a painting, reignited his feud with Madison Bumgarner, explained why he keeps licking his bat, sparked a bench-clearing against the Chicago Cubs, gotten traded again to the Indians and capped off his Indians tenure with another fight with the Pirates.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise Puig is still doing his thing in Cleveland.
Puig didn’t score from third after his wave and kiss, but it didn’t matter as Cleveland still won 6-2 over the Twins. And with that win comes a tie for the division lead.
Cleveland ties Twins for first place in AL Central
After trailing in the AL Central by as many as 11.5 games in June, the Indians completed their summer surge by tying the Twins for the division lead at 70-46.
Previously thought to be a clear seller at the trade deadline, the team’s bats have reawakened, the rotation has added back Mike Clevinger and the bullpen has improved from a league-best 3.48 ERA in the first half to an even more league-best 2.63 ERA in the second half entering Friday.
There are still two games left to play in this weekend’s pivotal series, but it’s hard to deny the Indians aren’t in an exciting position right now. Sounds just right for Puig.
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