Home News José Ramírez hits 200th homer in multi-HR game

José Ramírez hits 200th homer in multi-HR game

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CLEVELAND — Thursday’s series finale between the Guardians and Red Sox may as well be labeled the “José Ramírez Game.”

Ramírez stole the spotlight on Thursday, hitting three home runs in the first six innings of the Guardians’ 10-3 victory over the Red Sox at Progressive Field. It marked his first career three-homer game and the first for Cleveland since Edwin Encarnación did so on May 2, 2018, against the Rangers.

“I think everyone in here will say the same thing: He’s the best player in the game,” Guardians starter Aaron Civale said.

At-bat No. 1 — First inning

On Tuesday, Ramírez, who entered the day homerless in his last 13 games, snapped an 0-for-16 stretch. So when he laced a solo shot down the left-field line, the Guardians’ dugout erupted in excitement, watching their offensive spark plug start to show some smoke.

At-bat No. 2 — Third inning

The approach was simple: Get a hit.

In his last 13 games, Ramírez slashed .224/.237/.310. A first-inning homer was great, but his sights were set on building on that momentum, not etching his name in Cleveland’s history books.

That was, until he got ahead in the count, 3-0.

“I haven’t had two hits in a game in a couple of games,” Ramírez said through team interpreter Agustin Rivero. “So I was looking to put the ball in play and get a hit. So when the pitcher got behind in the count, I kind of changed the approach and went a little behind, trying to get it up.”

After he fouled a pitch off, he sent a 91.2 mph sinker over the wall in left-center field, recording his 200th career home run.

A quick interruption to remind everyone that his glove is impressive, too — Sixth inning

In the top of the sixth, Justin Turner hit a 75.1 mph ground ball down the third-base line. Ramírez backhanded the ball, turned and fired to first in one swift motion as his momentum carried him well into foul territory. Thanks to a nice stretch and pick by Josh Naylor at first, Ramírez’s strong, one-hop throw was just enough to retire Turner.

“If that was back in the day like Brooks Robinson, that play would be shown over and over and over,” manager Terry Francona said. “It was kind of reminiscent of that play against Tampa in the playoffs. It was a great play.”

At-bat No. 3 — Sixth inning

At this point, it’s hard not to be focused on the long ball. And even after finding himself in a 3-2 count, Ramírez sent his third homer of the night into the right-field seats. His first two blasts came while hitting right-handed, but this became his seventh career game with a homer from each side of the plate after he took former teammate Corey Kluber deep left-handed.

The bigger takeaway? He was the catalyst for the offense once again.

After he led off the inning with the homer, the rest of the offense followed with seven consecutive hits.

“It’s nice when everyone joins in,” Francona said.

At-bats Nos. 4 and 5 — Sixth and eighth innings

Ramírez couldn’t help but fixate on history, now. And why shouldn’t he? His team finally boasted a comfortable lead over its opponent and he already had three blasts under his belt.

“What I was really pulling for was [that] they didn’t go to a 3-0 count on him,” Francona quipped, “because I didn’t want to be the one to have him take.”

Ramírez didn’t add to the excitement in his final at-bats, striking out and running into a strange fielder’s choice double play in the eighth.

Ramírez posted his 21st career multi-homer game, tying Joe Carter for the fifth-most in Cleveland history trailing only Albert Belle (26), Jim Thome (26), Hal Trosky (25) and Manny Ramirez (22).

If that wasn’t enough, the second of his trio of long balls marked his 200th career blast. After he notched No. 201, he moved into sole possession of ninth place on the Guardians’ all-time home run list:

1. Jim Thome, 337
2. Albert Belle, 242
3. Manny Ramirez, 236
4. Earl Averill, 226
T5. Hal Trosky, 216
T5. Carlos Santana, 216
7. Larry Doby, 215
8. Andre Thornton, 214
9. José Ramírez, 201

“I still get happy for him because I know what he goes through to play and every play, every inning of every day like it’s his last,” Francona said. “You don’t see that many great players play like that.”

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