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Behind the Box Score: Lonnie Chisenhall's two blasts

In the midst of injuries, roster moves and lineup reconstruction, Lonnie Chisenhall has flourished over the last two days by mixing both power and plate discipline to reach base in eight of his last nine plate appearances.

CLEVELAND – The end of an offensive drought has primarily revolved around the elevated production of Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana in Terry Francona’s reconstructed lineup.

Although he still finds himself in the bottom-third of the order, Lonnie Chisenhall is doing just fine too.

The left-handed platoon specialist launched a pivotal three-run homer and two walks to reach base safely in eight of his last nine plate appearances with five RBIs (two home runs, five walks, one hit by pitch).

One of the key indicators that Chisenhall is making strides at the plate include his career-highs in fly ball percentage (49.1%) and hard-hit percentage (28.8%). In simpler terms, the former 29th overall pick is lifting the ball in the air with harder contact to yield five doubles, one triple, four home runs and a career-best .549 slugging percentage.

Here are his two home runs from Sunday and Monday…

Result: Two-run homer to center field

Pitch Velocity: 90.7-mph 

Exit Velocity: 103.1-mph (barreled ball)

Launch Angle: 26 degrees

Distance: 409 feet

Result: Three-run homer to left field

Pitch Velocity: 94.4-mph

Exit Velocity: 102.2-mph

Launch Angle: 37 degrees

Distance: 367 feet

Not only is Chisenhall making triple-digit contact, but he’s also lifting the ball at an optimal height for extra-base hits. His discipline over the successful two-game stretch also makes it easier for him to get ahead in the count (see above) and wait for his pitch to crank over the wall. If he does not encounter that pitch, he just makes pitchers labor through at-bats and eventually issue him a free pass.

With Abraham Almonte (right biceps), Austin Jackson (hyperextended left big toe), Brandon Guyer (right wrist sprain) and Tyler Naquin (back) on the MLB and/or MiLB disabled lists, it is imperative that Chisenhall maintains or exceeds his expected level of offensive contributions for this team to prosper moving forward in 2017.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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