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Helmet on or off, Ramirez's 2 HRs snap slump

Switch-hitting second baseman breaks out with 6-RBI game vs. Tigers
MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- When Jose Ramirez's helmet is flying off, that usually means good things are happening for the Indians. That was the joke made by manager Terry Francona last season, when the stocky infielder continuously lost his lid on the bases in a breakout campaign.

In a 13-6 rout of the Tigers on Saturday night, Ramirez's helmet stayed put, but good things still happened. He launched a pair of home runs, collected four hits and ended the night with a career-high six RBIs. His outburst swiftly corrected what looked like a slow start, showing how fast things can change in April.

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CLEVELAND -- When Jose Ramirez's helmet is flying off, that usually means good things are happening for the Indians. That was the joke made by manager Terry Francona last season, when the stocky infielder continuously lost his lid on the bases in a breakout campaign.

In a 13-6 rout of the Tigers on Saturday night, Ramirez's helmet stayed put, but good things still happened. He launched a pair of home runs, collected four hits and ended the night with a career-high six RBIs. His outburst swiftly corrected what looked like a slow start, showing how fast things can change in April.

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Asked about his helmet after the win, Ramirez removed his hat and ran his left hand through his orange and blonde locks.

"I don't know what's happening," Ramirez said through team translator Anna Bolton. "I'm going to have to let my hair get longer and straighter, and maybe move my head around so it'll start falling off more. The fans are asking the same thing."

Video: DET@CLE: Ramirez belts his second three-run home run

Last season, between the regular season and postseason, Ramirez's helmet flew off 62 times, as tracked by a member of the Cleveland media. That included once on a home run trot. There were no such issues on Saturday, when Ramirez launched a pair of three-run home runs -- one off Justin Verlander in the first inning and another off Anibal Sanchez in the eighth.

Tweet from @MLBastian: Indians with 1+ BB, 2+ HR, 4+ H, 6+ RBIRamirez: TodayMartinez: 7/16/2004Colavito: 6/10/1959Rosen: 4/29/1952Trosky: 9/15/1936, 4/24/34

Ramirez's four-hit night gave him six hits in six at-bats (with a walk mixed in between), dating back to Friday's loss to Detroit. The switch-hitter has reached base in 10 of his past 13 plate appearances, going 9-for-12 in that span. When the smoke cleared on Saturday, Ramirez was batting .341 with a 1.014 OPS.

After his first three at-bats on Friday, Ramirez was sporting a .229 batting average.

"It's such small sample sizes. Everything gets magnified," Indians manager Terry Francona said of statistics in April. "As he knows the league -- I'm not necessarily sure that he'll get stronger, and he might -- but I think you're going to see him do a little more damage just [with] his familiarity, with what they're trying to do to him."

Tweet from @MLBastian: Detroit's pitchers went in and out on Ramirez and he found a way to do damage. Went oppo and to pull side with homers. pic.twitter.com/AckDWqDIXd

The Tigers went in and out on Ramirez. They fired fastballs and offspeed pitches. Ramirez adjusted right along with the pitchers, sending two up the middle for singles, and belting home runs over the wall in left and to deep right.

"He was a good hitter all year last year," Verlander said. "I thought it was crazy he went oppo over that big wall out there. [He] doesn't seem like the type of hitter to be able to do that. But, the guy was huge for them all year last year. When a guy like that's locked in, it's hard to get them out."

After his mini-slump to start the season, Ramirez was happy to break through like he did.

"Anything can happen," Ramirez said. "There are some days that you're going to have the ability to hit pitches better than other days. Thankfully, they're throwing me pitches that I can dominate well and I've had good luck in the past couple of days."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Cleveland Indians, Jose Ramirez