Cleveland sports came together in a memorable way Friday night at Progressive Field.
Before the Indians hosted the Seattle Mariners, the Cleveland Browns two first round draft picks — quarterback Baker Mayfield, taken No. 1 overall, and cornerback Denzel Ward, taken No. 4 — were on hand for a ceremonial first pitch that got plenty of attention.
There was also plenty of love being shown to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were looking to close out their NBA playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.
In fact, the Cavaliers biggest supporter might have been the Indians biggest star, Francisco Lindor. While taking early batting practice before Friday’s game, Lindor was spotted wearing a custom ‘The Land’ Cavaliers jersey with his No. 12 on the back.
If not for LeBron James, Lindor would certainly be the face of Cleveland sports. With that in mind, it’s pretty cool to see him out there supporting James and the Cavaliers much the same way they’ve supported the Indians in the past.
Lindor then proved again why he is such a special talent. Hours later when the pitches started counting, he wasted no time launching a home run to lead off Cleveland’s half of the first inning. It was an almost poetic moment that got Cleveland’s big night off to a perfect start.
It certainly inspired the Indians. Later in the same inning, Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion would also homer, capping a three-run frame. Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes would each hit solo homers in the sixth inning, giving Cleveland five total in their 6-5 win.
Things didn’t go nearly as well for the Cavaliers. LeBron James was bloodied and they were blown out by Indiana, meaning there will be a Game 7 on Sunday.
As for the Browns, well, they’re still the Browns until further notice. Regardless, it’s clear that Cleveland’s sports franchises will continue having have each other’s back.
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