Cincinnati Reds Jesse Winker leads MLB in batting average

PITTSBURGH –– When Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker stepped to the plate for his first at-bat on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates only had one defender on the left side of the infield.

The Pirates infield had an aggressive shift on Winker, a left-handed hitter. Winker poked a soft ground ball down the left field line for his 38th hit of the season. 

This one, he said, took a little luck.

“I hit that ball off the very end of my bat, just an unbelievable two-seam fastball and it completely missed my barrel and squeaked down the line,” Winker said. “I was not trying to do that on that ball. You take what the game gives you, and I’ll take that one.”

May 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Jesse Winker (L) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker (34) as third baseman Erik Gonzalez (2) reacts during the third inning at PNC Park.

In his other two-at bats on Tuesday night, Winker left no doubt with a 438-foot home run in the third inning and another double on a line drive to left field in the eighth. After his three-hit game on Tuesday, Winker took over the MLB lead with a .374 batting average.

“I really don’t pay much attention to statistics,” Winker said. “The only thing that matters is helping the team win and winning games and getting the team back to the postseason and getting in the playoffs.”

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