Ramirez hits 2 HRs and 3 doubles, Indians win 11th in row
DETROIT (AP) Jose Ramirez isn’t finished setting records for extra-base hits.
In June, the Cleveland infielder became the first player in modern history to get 14 of them – 10 doubles, a triple and three homers – in a seven-game span.
Sunday, he packed all his damage into one game.
Ramirez tied a major league mark with five extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs that deflected off Detroit outfielders, and the Indians routed the Tigers 11-1 for their 11th straight victory.
”I feel very good right now,” he said through a translator. ”It is all about confidence right now.”
In between Ramirez’s big bopping, he went through an 0-for-17 slump while hitting just .235 in August.
”Things like that happen in this game,” he said. ”You are going to have bad spells, and you just have to keep working through it.”
Ramirez had three doubles in becoming the 13th player with five extra-base hits in a game. Kris Bryant of the Cubs did it last year, and the previous Cleveland player to accomplish the feat was Kelly Shoppach in 2008.
The AL Central-leading Indians have their longest winning streak since a team-record 14-game run last year. They outscored the Tigers 29-5 while posting their first four-game sweep in Detroit.
Ramirez went 5 for 5, driving in three runs and scoring three. He is hitting .472 with eight homers and 22 RBIs in 15 games against the Tigers this year.
”We haven’t handled him in two years,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Ramirez hit a strange solo homer in the first. The ball hit the yellow padding on top of the left-field fence, popped straight in the air and bounced off the padding and back into play. As left fielder Mikie Mahtook tried to grab it with his bare hand, he knocked over the fence.
”I’ve never seen a ball hit the padding twice, so when it hit the first time, I thought I could bat it back into play,” Mahtook said. ”When it hit again and bounced right back at me, I tried to catch it with my bare hand. Obviously, that didn’t work.”
In the sixth, right fielder Alex Presley reached above the fence for Ramirez’s drive to right. The ball tipped off the end of his glove, hit a safety railing and bounced back onto the field.
”I’ve never seen that in my life, where he hits two homers that don’t go out of the park,” manager Terry Francona said.
Ramirez hit a leadoff double in the eighth and Giovanny Urshela pinch ran. Urshela batted in the ninth.
Ramirez also doubled in the third inning and the fifth.
Josh Tomlin (8-9) returned from the disabled list, giving up one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Chad Bell (0-2) allowed five runs on eight hits over four-plus innings in his first major league start.
Francisco Lindor hit his 26th home run, breaking the Indians’ record for homers by a shortstop set by Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Tigers were missing many of their veterans this weekend. Star Miguel Cabrera is suspended, Victor Martinez is out after surgery and Justin Verlander and Justin Upton recently were traded.
”This is a bunch of young guys facing one of the best teams in baseball and some of the best pitchers in baseball. I’m not at all disappointed in them. The effort was there,” Ausmus said.
Indians: Tomlin was making his first start since leaving his July 30 outing after four innings with a strained hamstring. . CF Bradley Zimmer did not play after banging his head while attempting a diving catch Saturday night.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (hamstring) is scheduled to return to the rotation on Tuesday, while LHP Daniel Norris (groin) will work out of the bullpen.
The Tigers fell 20 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2005 season at 71-91.
Indians: Cleveland travels to Chicago for a four-game series with the White Sox. Trevor Bauer (14-8, 4.46) is scheduled to start Monday’s opener against James Shields (2-5, 5.72). Bauer is currently on a career-best seven-game winning streak.
Tigers: Detroit finishes a seven-game homestand with a three-game series starting Monday afternoon against Kansas City. Artie Lewicki will start for the Tigers in his major league debut, facing Jakob Junis (6-2, 4.41).