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Ramírez homers, drives in 3 runs as AL Central-leading Guardians wallop scuffling Twins

Cleveland Guardians Jose Ramirez - The Canadian Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — José Ramírez homered to end a 12-pitch at-bat and had three RBIs and Logan Allen pitched six strong innings, sending the Cleveland Guardians to an 11-4 romp on Saturday night over the Minnesota Twins, who lost their fifth straight and remained in an offensive funk.

Ramírez set the tone with his two-run homer in the first inning off Bailey Ober (4-2) and added an RBI double on the same night the Guardians celebrated their All-Star third baseman with a bobblehead giveaway.

“It seems like everyone’s calling his home run every single time in the dugout,” said Cleveland's Tyler Freeman, who had a career-high four hits with three RBIs. “It’s so fun to play behind him and when he gets it going early on, it just lights a fire for us."

Needing a triple for the cycle — Cleveland's lone one at home came in 1933 — Ramírez popped to second in the sixth and grounded to first in the seventh.

The AL Central-leading Guardians moved a season-best 12 games over .500.

Allen (5-2) held the Twins to five singles and hasn't given up a run in his last 12 innings over two starts. The left-hander walked one and struck out seven.

Andrés Giménez had two RBIs for Cleveland and rookie Kyle Manzardo got his first RBI with a double in the fifth.

The Twins are scuffling after winning 17 of 20. They scored four runs in the ninth to avoid being shut out for the third time in five days, and have been outscored 28-7 during their five-game slide.

“It’s a funny game that we play,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. "There’s nothing like it. You’re on fire for two or three weeks straight and you feel like you can do no wrong and the game will turn it around very quickly on you.

"We’re sputtering a little bit, there’s no way around that. We’ve got to find a way to lift ourselves up and score some runs.”

Minnesota's Byron Buxton went 1 for 4 with an RBI in his first game back after being sidelined two weeks with right knee inflammation.

Ramírez, who homered in the eighth inning to help the Guardians win Friday's series opener, connected off Ober in the first to cap an at-bat in which he fouled off seven pitches.

With Freeman on first after a leadoff single, Ramírez battled Ober before connecting for his 11th homer and No. 227 of his career. The shot moved him into fourth place in team history behind Jim Thome (337), Albert Belle (242) and Manny Ramirez (236).

“He's a legend," Allen said of Ramírez. ”He’s a goat. He’s our guy. He’s the reason why we’re as good as we are. It's great to see him do that."

The homer also ended the Guardians' scoreless streak against Ober at 18 innings. The right-hander needed 38 pitches just to get through the first and was touched up for five runs and eight hits in four innings.

Bailey came in 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA in his previous seven starts.

“That's a difficult way to start a game,” Baldelli said. “But most of that outing was tough. That Ramírez at-bat was very challenging to get through. Bailey gives you everything that he has. He gave us four innings and basically maxed out about as much work as you can put into four innings.”

Ramírez was at it again in the third, hitting his RBI double ahead of Josh Naylor's sacrifice fly as the Guardians took a 4-0 lead.

Cleveland made it 5-0 off Ober in the fourth on Freeman's RBI double, and the Guardians added two more in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Will Brennan and Manzardo's double.


Guardians: RHP Eli Morgan (shoulder inflammation) is “trucking along," according to manager Stephen Vogt. Morgan has been on the injured list for a month. He's made two rehab appearances at Triple-A Columbus. ... Vogt said LF Steven Kwan (hamstring) had no problems following his first batting practice session since getting hurt. “We're excited about his progression,” Vogt said.


Twins RHP Chris Paddack (4-2, 4.89 ERA) makes his first career start against Cleveland in the series finale against Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (2-1, 4.34).