MINNEAPOLIS -- When Jose Ramirez stepped into the batter's box at Target Field on Monday night, the Indians slugger had gone a week without a hit. At an increasing rate, pitchers have been reluctant to give him anything in the strike zone, forcing Ramirez to take his walks and wait
MINNEAPOLIS -- When Jose Ramirez stepped into the batter's box at Target Field on Monday night, the Indians slugger had gone a week without a hit. At an increasing rate, pitchers have been reluctant to give him anything in the strike zone, forcing Ramirez to take his walks and wait things out.
Ramirez finally got some pitches to hit and the Tribe slugger did not miss. Through two at-bats in an eventual 5-4 loss to the Twins, the All-Star third baseman had two home runs, giving him 32 on the season and putting him into a tie for the MLB lead with Boston's J.D. Martinez. It marked the third multi-homer showing of the year for Ramirez and the ninth of his career.
The solo shot in the first inning off Twins righty Ervin Santana snapped an 0-for-16 slump for Ramirez.
"I wouldn't say he's struggling," Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo said with a chuckle after Sunday's game in Detroit.
No, in fact, Ramirez had a remarkable offensive showing during his seven-game skid with zero hits. Over that span, the switch-hitter posted a .000/.414/.000 slash line in 29 plate appearances. Ramirez drew 11 walks, stole three bases, collected two RBIs, was hit by a pitch and crossed home plate five times.
Ramirez snapped out of that "slump" in the first by crushing an elevated 3-2 fastball from Santana out to right field to put the American League Central-leading Indians on the board. In the fourth inning, Santana fired a 3-2 changeup lower in the zone, but Ramirez again was not fooled. He also yanked that offering out to right to pull the game into a 2-2 tie.
Yan Gomes added a solo shot in the fifth inning, his 11th homer of the year, to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
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 Facebook.