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Kipnis getting locked in at the plate

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Kipnis getting locked in at the plate play video for Kipnis getting locked in at the plate

DETROIT -- The bright orange shirts first popped up in Cleveland shortly before the All-Star break. Indians players have taken to wearing them around the clubhouse and during batting practice, having a little fun with second baseman Jason Kipnis.

The front of the shirts read, "JK Construction," and the back has the slogan, "I break it. You fix it."

Kipnis has been vague about the origins of the humorous tees, but the Tribe's second baseman laughed and elaborated in more detail after the Indians' 9-3 rout of the Tigers on Friday night. Kipnis was understandably in a good mood after launching two home runs and collecting four RBIs in the victory for Cleveland.

"I break it, you fix it," Kipnis said with a laugh. "That's down below where the cameras can't go."

What has Kipnis broken?

"Anything I can lift, usually," he said. "I've got a nice little tab going on downstairs. If some guys say we need a new fan or [air conditioner], and I go 0-for-3 or something like that, I'm a team player. I'll help them out and knock it out of the wall and we'll have a new one there the next day."

Kipnis has saved the damage for on the field lately. With his showing on Friday night, the second baseman has posted a .319 average with three extra-base hits, five stolen bases, six RBIs, nine runs scored and an .842 OPS in his last 11 games, entering Saturday's doubleheader in Detroit. He ended a drought of 218 plate appearances without a home run on Friday, and then belted homers in consecutive at-bats.

On the season, Kipnis has hit .257 with five homers, 13 stolen bases, 20 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs, 36 runs and .706 OPS through 69 games.

"I can go through a lot of breaks in power," Kipnis said. "But, I think you guys have seen [homers] come in bunches for me. Hopefully, it's a sign of something good. Let's really hope that it is."

Kipnis cracked a smile when asked who was behind the T-shirts.

"The secret guy behind everything: Corey Kluber," Kipnis said. "Any time you don't think it's him, it's him."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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