Kelenic brings M’s fans to feet with 1st MLB HR

SEATTLE — At two minor league levels, the first hit for prized Seattle prospect Jarred Kelenic was a home run.

Same start in the majors.

Kelenic made his first career hit extra memorable with a two-run homer and later added a pair of doubles, leading the Mariners to a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

After going hitless in his big league debut Thursday night, Kelenic brought the Seattle crowd to its feet with a long ball in the third inning. He stayed with an off-speed pitch from Aaron Civale, but still had the power to drive it 403 feet out to right-center field.

The ball was clocked at 109.3 mph off the bat, and Kelenic’s sprint around the bases seemed just as fast. He embraced fellow young Seattle star Kyle Lewis in the dugout with a bear hug and tipped his cap to the fans when their standing ovation didn’t stop.

“I didn’t even know that that’s what they wanted, until people were like, ‘Get out there.’ I didn’t know what was going on until I realized that everyone was standing up,” Kelenic said. “But that’s something I’ve always imagined.”

Kelenic, 21, became the youngest Mariners player to homer since Adam Jones in 2006 and joined Lewis in hitting a home run for their first major league hits. Lewis did it in September 2019.

Kelenic also homered for his first hits at Class A Modesto in 2019 and with Triple-A Tacoma earlier this month.

“A lot to get excited about. Big night for him tonight and his family and our team quite frankly,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s loud in here, guys are excited, they know what he can bring and he’s going to continue to have fun, that’s for sure.”

Kelenic added a pair of hustling doubles in the fifth and seventh, the second scoring Sam Haggerty to give Seattle a 5-1 lead.

Kelenic became the fifth player in Mariners history with three or more hits in his first two career games, and the first since Carlos Guillén in 1998. Kelenic also is the 18th player in baseball history with three or more extra-base hits in his first two career games.

“I’m a competitor. I want to win. I want to bury our opponents, each and every night,” Kelenic said. “It really bugs me when I give away at-bats or if I don’t execute on what I’m trying to do.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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