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Ramírez breaks Doby’s team record for go-ahead homers as Guardians top Tigers

Cleveland Guardians Jose Ramirez - The Canadian Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — José Ramírez hit a solo homer in the sixth inning, breaking Hall of Famer Larry Doby’s franchise record with his 87th career go-ahead blast and lifting the Cleveland Guardians over the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on Monday night.

Ramírez’s drive off starter Jack Flaherty (0-2) hit the foul pole in right field, snapping a 1-all tie that had stood since the first. The Guardians have the second-best record in the American League at 23-12.

“Ramírez is one of the best hitters in the league and I made one mistake to him — and he took advantage,” Flaherty said. “The one pitch I pulled all the way across the plate was supposed to be in. I hated the location of it.”

Nick Sandlin (3-0) worked 1 1/3 innings for the win and Emmanuel Clase earned his 11th save, moving into a four-way tie for most in the majors. Sandlin, Clase and teammate Scott Barlow share the big league lead with 19 appearances.

“Nick is my pacifier. No matter what situation we’ve put him in, he’s been great,” Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said. “And we’ve got a pretty good guy to get three outs in the ninth, which isn’t for everybody.”

Flaherty struck out six over six innings, extending his winless streak to 12 starts. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 5.98 ERA since defeating Toronto on Aug. 3, 2023, while pitching for Baltimore.

Riley Greene homered on the first pitch of the game for Detroit, which lost its fourth straight. It was his second leadoff homer this season and the third of his three-year career.

“I’m always attacking the first pitch because that may be the only good one you get,” Greene said. “I just try to hit the ball hard.”

Will Brennan singled in Estevan Florial for Cleveland’s first run. Guardians starter Triston McKenzie worked five innings, allowing one run while striking out six.

Twenty-nine of Ramírez’s 223 homers have come against the Tigers, the most among active players.

“Maybe it’s because I see them more often than the other teams, but I’ve never thought about that,” Ramírez said through an interpreter. “I just come in and compete and try to do my best.”

Kyle Manzardo — the Guardians’ top power-hitting prospect — made his major league debut, striking out in all three plate appearances as the designated hitter.

The 23-year-old Manzardo, acquired from Tampa Bay for pitcher Aaron Civale last July, hit .303 with nine homers and 20 RBIs in 29 games with Triple-A Columbus.

Earlier in the day, Cleveland placed AL batting leader Steven Kwan on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. The two-time Gold Glove left fielder, who is hitting .353, is expected to miss four weeks.


Tigers: OF Wenceel Pérez (illness) returned after missing one game, entering in the sixth. Detroit manager A.J. Hinch had planned on giving the rookie another day off.

Guardians: LHP Sam Hentges (left middle finger inflammation) was activated. He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab stint with Columbus and Double-A Akron.


Tigers RHP Kenta Maeda (1-1, 5.02 ERA) faces Guardians LHP Logan Allen (3-2, 5.11) in the second game of the series. Maeda picked up his first victory with Detroit last week against St. Louis.