Reds’ De la Cruz hits 1st big league homer, then triples

June 7, 2023  -CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Reds newcomer Elly De la Cruz hit his first major league homer with a 458-foot, two-run drive off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday night and then tripled.

With fellow rookie Matt McLain on second base, De la Cruz hit an 0-1 fastball that left the bat at 114.8 mph and landed into the last rows of the right-field stands at Great American Ball Park.

A day after making his big league debut, the 21-year-old switch-hitter had the second-hardest-hit home run by a player 21 or younger since Statcast started tracking in 2015, behind only Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at 115.9 mph on Aug. 21, 1920.

De la Cruz tripled on a curveball in the third, a drive that went to the wall in right-center on four hops.

He reached third in 10.83 seconds, the fastest time in the major leagues this season, according to Statcast. It was the second-fastest since the start of the 2020 season behind 10.75 seconds for Arizona’s Corbin Carroll last Oct. 3.

Cruz was 1 for 3 with two walks in his debut Tuesday night. The home run came in his sixth plate appearance.

The Dominican Republic shortstop hit .298 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 38 games for Triple-A Louisville this season.

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