An 8-year-old Cleveland Indians fan with cerebral palsy had a wish straight out of Hollywood: He asked two of his favorite players to hit home runs.
And Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis sure know how to follow a script.
Before Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, Niko Lanzarotta and his family were on the field watching the Indians take batting practice. The youngster met several players and asked Santana and Kipnis if they would hit knock one out of Progressive Field for him.
How could they say no?
Santana, who is Niko’s favorite player, hit a two-run homer in the first. Kipnis added a two-run shot in the third. Niko’s night was made complete when the Indians defeated the Twins 7-2.
Niko went to the game with his parents, Mike and Kasia Lanzarotta.
“It was an awesome experience,” Niko’s father, said. “It was the best day of his life. To meet Carlos, to be that close, and for him to hit a home run. … To see your kid that happy is a great thing.”
Both players were pleased they were able to grant Niko’s wish.
“He must be a good luck charm for us two,” said Kipnis, who broke an 0-for-19 slump earlier in the game and homered for the first time since July 21.
ESPN’S KRUK FALLS ILL DURING BROADCAST
ESPN analyst John Kruk left the television booth at Dodger Stadium after becoming dehydrated while covering the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers game Sunday night.
The Boston Globe reported he was taken from the press box on a stretcher.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the 52-year-old Kruk was feeling dizzy and was diagnosed with dehydration. Krulewitz said: “His vital signs are stable and he’s in good spirits. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett, a cornerstone of the blockbuster trade with Boston a year ago, has declared himself ahead of schedule after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery on his spine and expects to be ready for the start of spring training. … White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia left the game against the Rangers after crashing into the outfield fence trying to bring in a home run. … The Red Sox reinstated left-handed reliever Matt Thornton from the disabled list and optioned right-hander Brayan Villarreal to Triple-A Pawtucket. … Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin didn’t play in the game against the White Sox after spraining his right ankle the previous night. … Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki rested against the Marlins after being bothered by soreness in a muscle on his side. … The Marlins optioned infielder Gil Velazquez to Triple-A New Orleans after the game to make room for third baseman Placido Polanco, who is expected to be activated from the seven-day disabled list on Tuesday.