Lindor joins elite company with 30th home run

Indians star tied for most HRs in season for switch-hitting SS with leadoff shot

Lindor joins elite company with 30th home run

CLEVELAND -- Francisco Lindor insists that he is not a power hitter. As the Indians' shortstop tore around the bases on Tuesday night, in front of a Progressive Field audience that shook the ballpark in celebration, Lindor continued to play the role of the unlikely slugger well.

In a 2-0 shutdown performance by Corey Kluber over the Tigers, Lindor wasted no time in offering some early heroics in the Indians' 20th straight victory, which tied the A's for the American League record. He slammed a pitch from Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd over the 19-foot wall in left field for a leadoff home run, which marked his 30th shot of the season and ninth in the past 20 games.

Must C: Tribe's streak hits 20

"He's worked very hard and become a very good hitter," Kluber said. "It's not by accident. His defense is what got all the attention initially, but he's turned himself into more than just a good defensive player. He's a good all-around player."

Lindor's home run put his name alongside some greats in terms of power prowess.

With that blast, Lindor tied Jimmy Rollins (30 homers in 2007) and Jose Valentin (30 in '04) for the most home runs in a single season by a switch-hitting shortstop. Lindor is also the first shortstop 23 years old or younger to enjoy a 30-homer campaign since '99, when Alex Rodriguez launched 42 in his age-23 season.

Lindor's tough play

In terms of Indians history, Lindor joined Hal Trosky (42 in 1936 and 35 in '34) and Manny Ramirez (31 in 1995) as the only players 23 or younger to have at least 30 homers in a season.

What does No. 30 mean to Lindor?

"I haven't really thought about it," Lindor said. "It's something special, because I helped the team win today. It's just cool. It's cool. It's a blessing. I'm honored."

Lindor starts DP to end 7th

The Indians and 2002 A's are the only teams in the Expansion Era (since 1961) to enjoy a winning streak of at least 20 games. The 1935 Cubs (21 wins in a row) own the modern baseball record for wins in consecutive games. The Elias Sports Bureau credits the 1916 New York Giants with an MLB-record 26-game winning streak, but there was a tie within that 27-game stretch.

During the 20 wins for the Indians, Lindor has helped power the lineup by hitting .364/.437/.792 with nine homers, two doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs. That included a critical home run on Sunday night, when Lindor cracked his bat and still went deep while using teammate Abraham Almonte's lumber for one swing.

Lindor's solo home run

Asked again if he can be called a power hitter, Lindor smirked.

"When I hit 50," Lindor said. "Then you can call me a power hitter, but it won't happen."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.