CLEVELAND -- With Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez at the plate against Tigers starter Michael Fulmer and a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday night, the 21,915 in attendance at Progressive Field chanted, "Jose, Jose Jose, Jose." Ramirez eventually gave the crowd something more to
CLEVELAND -- With Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez at the plate against Tigers starter Michael Fulmer and a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday night, the 21,915 in attendance at Progressive Field chanted, "Jose, Jose Jose, Jose." Ramirez eventually gave the crowd something more to cheer for, as he belted Fulmer's seventh pitch into the seats in right for a two-run homer.
Although that would be the last two runs the Indians would score in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers, Ramirez once again showed why he is the American League starter at third base for Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. He reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances and recorded his team-leading 31st multihit game of the season on Sunday.
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"You see how the players love him and they respect him for what he has meant to them and this club," Indians bench coach and acting manager Brad Mills said. "… But you get in a situation where here's a guy, like I said last time, [that] never gives up on an at-bat and he's there battling every out of a ballgame. He's going to give everything he can to help the ballclub win games. He hit that home run tonight to really draw us close, and he's just been special the whole year."
Ramirez's seventh-inning long ball -- which traveled a projected 375 feet and had an exit velocity of 98 mph, per Statcast™ -- was his 17th of the season, which marks a career-high for the third baseman. It was his fifth home run of the month, which ties him with Giancarlo Stanton with the most in July.
"I mean there's a reason Jose Ramirez is starting in the All-Star Game," Fulmer said. "I thought I made my best pitch possible there: full count, front-door sinker, down and in. It could have been a little higher, but like I said, there's a reason he's starting. He's a very good hitter and very deserving of an All-Star start."
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Ramirez singled in the second, was intentionally walked in the fourth and reached via fielder's choice in the eighth. After his strong showing on Sunday, Ramirez has hit .405 with 32 extra-base hits and just 15 strikeouts over his last 40 games. Additionally, 22 of those 40 games have been multihit games.
The switch-hitting Ramirez finishes his All-Star first half with a slash line of .332/.388/.601. He has 109 hits -- 27 doubles, five triples -- and 48 RBIs, with 62 runs scored, 10 stolen bases and 30 walks.
"It is [enjoyable to watch]," Indians starter Corey Kluber said of Ramirez. "It seems like he gets better and better every day, whether it be at the plate, in the field. I think he constantly is finding ways to help us win, which to me, I think that's the ultimate compliment."
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.