Ramirez's bat awakens with 3 hits in Gm. 1 win

October 26th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- After going 1-for-17 in the American League Championship Series, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez had to wonder what it would take to get a hit.

In the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series, he found out: Not much. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ramirez hit a dribbler down the third-base line off Cubs starter to push across the first run of Cleveland's 6-0 victory over the Cubs.

Game 2: Tonight, 7 p.m. ET game time on FOX (6 p.m. ET pregame show on FS1)

"This is a game, and anything good can happen, and anything bad can happen," Ramirez said through a translator. "I just give thanks to God that the good thing happened. Of course I was happy. I got a hit, we scored a run, and you should know me ... I'm always happy when I get a hit like that."

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There was more good to come.

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Ramirez picked up two more hits against Lester -- a single to center field in the third and a leadoff double in the sixth. His three hits were tied with shortstop for the most by a player in the game.

"He's going to go out there and play his best," Lindor said of Ramirez. "When the lights are on, he's going to go out there and do his thing and help us win."

Ramirez, who was seventh in the AL with a .312 batting average, remained confident throughout October, even when the hits weren't falling, because he knew they would -- eventually. He was making outs, but he only struck out twice, and was just hitting the ball where the fielders happened to be.

"I feel good when I'm not striking out," he said. "And when we were playing against Toronto, I was getting the bat on the ball and I wasn't striking out as much, so I still felt good about the at-bats I was putting up."

The ALCS was certainly an odd series for Ramirez, with his .067 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) falling way below his .333 season average. As tends to happen, his luck evened out.

With Tuesday's three hits, Ramirez raised his postseason batting average to a solid .290, which is third on the team behind Lindor (.371) and outfielder (.300 in 10 at-bats). Ramirez's .333 on-base percentage ranks second, and he's tied for third with two extra-base hits.

Thanks to his continued success, the Indians are three wins away from their first World Series title in 68 years.

"I've always dreamed of being in the World Series and winning, and that's what we did today," he said. "Things are going well, and we're playing together, we're playing united."