Ramirez gets 5 extra-base hits as Indians rout Tigers
DETROIT — It was a 13th for Cleveland second baseman Jose Ramirez and a first for Indians manager Terry Francona.
Ramirez hit two home runs and three doubles Sunday for the 13th five extra-base hit game by a player in major league history. Both of his home runs never left the park on their own.
“I have never seen that in my life where, again a great day and he hit five balls,” Francona said after Cleveland completed a four-game sweep of Detroit with an 11-1 victory that was its 11th in a row, “but two of his home runs didn’t leave the park.
“I’ve never seen that and I doubt if I ever will. Tell you what, he took five really good swings. He scalded the ball.”
Francisco Lindor set a club record for homers by a Cleveland shortstop with his 26th and Josh Tomlin (8-9), on the disabled list since the end of July, pitched one-run ball for 5 2/3 innings.
Ramirez’s third double, in the eighth inning, made him the first player since the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant against the Cincinnati Reds in 2016 to collect five extra-base hits in a game. He tied the club record last done by Kelly Shoppach against the Tigers in 2008.
“He said he feels confident,” Ramirez said through Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. “It’s about confidence and that’s what baseball and hitting is all about.”
The first home run, three batters into the game and off left-hander Chad Bell (0-2), hit the yellow padding atop the left field fence, bounced up and hit the padding again on the way down. The ball was on its way to the outfield turf after the second blow when Mikie Mahtook entered the scene.
“I knew it wasn’t a home run because it didn’t go over the fence,” Mahtook said. “All the guys were giving me a hard time about when I got back to the dugout.
“After the second bounce I could see it was coming back onto the field and I tried hard to knock it back down. But obviously I didn’t. I hit it over the fence.”
Ramirez’s second home run and 22nd of the season came on a drive to right with a man on base in the sixth.
Right fielder Alex Presley made a leaping try for a catch above the yellow home run demarcation line, but the ball tipped off his glove, hit the metal fencework and bounced back on the field for a home run.
Ramirez hit two doubles between the home runs and was removed for pinch-runner Giovanny Urshela after the third. Urshela scored on a double by Edwin Encarnacion, with pinch-runner Francisco Mejia coming home on a bases-loaded walk.
Lindor broke the record for home runs by a shortstop that he shared with Asdrubal Cabrera (2011) when he hit a solo shot to deep right with one out in the sixth against reliever Zac Reininger, who then gave up a single to Austin Jackson and Ramirez’s second home run of the game.
Tomlin got two outs in the sixth before being relieved when Nicholas Castellanos singled to center. Tomlin gave up six hits in 5 2/3 innings, walked one and struck out two in his first start coming off the disabled list.
JaCoby Jones’ line RBI single to center with two outs in the second produced Detroit’s run.
“It felt really good to get out there and compete again,” Tomlin said. “It was great to feel part of the team after being on the disabled list that long.
“I felt like I wasn’t very crisp early on. With that early cushion, two or three runs I think it was, your job is just to go out there and throw strikes.”
Nick Goody got four outs after taking over for Tomlin, Zach McAllister pitched the eighth and Dan Otero the ninth.
Perez had an RBI single in the second with one out and Cleveland got a second run that inning on a bases-loaded forceout.
Ramirez opened the third with a double and scored from third with a nice slide to avoid the tag on Carlos Santana’s tapper back to the mound, giving the Indians a 4-1 lead.
Yandy Diaz singled home a run in the fifth to boost the Indians’ lead to 5-1 as Cleveland swept a team for the 10th time this season.
An RBI double by Lonnie Chisenhall in the ninth made it 11-1.
The Indians turned five double plays in the game.
NOTES: Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said there will be a change to his rotation soon. “I do (know), but I’m not telling you.” ... Cleveland OF Jay Bruce was held out of action again because of a stiff neck. “Hopefully, he’ll be ready to play Monday,” manager Terry Francona said. ... 3B Jeimer Candelario, obtained from the Cubs in July as part of the deal for LHP Justin Wilson and C Alex Avila, is going to get plenty of time at third, Ausmus said. That means 3B Nicholas Castellanos will DH a lot. ... Indians CF Bradley Zimmer “showed up and feels good,” Francona said, “which is good, but just because he was checked for a concussion (Saturday) he needs to be rechecked” in order to play again.