Since 2002, September 15 has been Robert Clement Day in Major League Baseball.
Francisco Lindor, whose idol Clemente is, made sure this year’s was dear to him on Thursday when he homered in the New York Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Pirates of Pittsburgh, the club for which the legendary athlete played from 1955 to 1972.
Wearing the No. 21 jersey like every Mets and Pirates player, Lindor fired a pitch from starter JT Brubaker into the right-field stands in the third inning for his 24th long pitch of the season.
While working in professional baseball, Lindor’s father also wore the number 21 to pay tribute to his compatriot, one of the greatest outfielders in history.
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican thus became the New Yorkers shortstop with the most home runs in the season ahead of Asdrubal Cabrera.
With 94 RBI in 2022, Lindor could also become the first hitter in Mets history to reach 100 RBI.
With the win, the Mets (90-55) are now one game ahead of the Atlanta Braves (88-55) atop the National Division East standings.
The Braves have been inactive in this short eight-game MLB schedule.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (15-6) worked six innings on the mound, allowing just one run and 11 hits.
In other matches:
Chicago White Sox 8 – Cleveland 2
CHI: Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, Yoán Moncada, Yasmani Grandal and Elvis Andrus came home.
KEY: Myles Straw had three hits.
White Sox 8 – Guardians 2
Philadelphia 3-Miami 5
PHI: Kyle Schwarber hit his 38th home run of the season. A 4-hitter, Brandon Marsh was just one homer away from the carousel.
TARGET: Jordan Groshans hit his first homer. Bryan De La Cruz hit his 9th and Charles Leblanc hit a double.
Oakland 2-Houston 5
OAK: Dermis Garcia drove in both runs for the A’s, who were limited to three hits.
HOO: Aledmys Díaz hit a two-run homer.
Kansas City 2 – Minnesota 3
CC: The Royals had just 13 hits in the three-game series.
MIN: Carlos Correa and Nick Gordon homered and the Twins swept the three-game series.
Cincinnati 3–St. Louis II
TIN: Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino returned home.
STL: Cards were limited to three hits.
San Diego 0 – Arizona 4
SD: 0-for-4 night for Juan Soto, who has a hit in his last 29 appearances.
ARI: Ketel Marte, Emmanuel Rivera and Carson Kelly all hit the long ball.