MIAMI -- All Harold Ramirez does is hit. The 24-year-old, who seemingly came out of nowhere, has collected more hits in his first 30 games with the Marlins than any player in franchise history. Ramirez belted a three-run homer in the fourth on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park, and then
MIAMI -- All Harold Ramirez does is hit. The 24-year-old, who seemingly came out of nowhere, has collected more hits in his first 30 games with the Marlins than any player in franchise history. Ramirez belted a three-run homer in the fourth on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park, and then added a double in the fifth.
So with the Pirates ahead by a run in the eighth, Ramirez was exactly who the Marlins were comfortable with at the plate with one on and none out. But this time, Pittsburgh right-hander Kyle Crick got the rookie to chase a slider out of the zone for a strikeout.
Unable to get a key late-inning hit, the Marlins let a seventh-inning lead slip away and took a 5-4 loss on Father's Day.
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“Harold has been good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He will swing out of the area sometimes. But, for the most part, he's a guy who with two strikes, you feel the at-bats are still OK. He will chase a little bit, but you still feel like he will put the ball in play. Fairly simple approach.”
Ramirez, from Colombia, has become one of the promising position players for the Marlins, with a chance to become part of their long-term plans.
Ramirez opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, batting .355 in 31 games before getting his first big league callup. Sunday was his 30th game with the Marlins. He now has 38 hits, which is more than any other player in franchise history in that span. Marcell Ozuna had 36 hits, while Logan Morrison and Hanley Ramirez each had 35.
“I've been very excited to be here,” Ramirez said. “I want to stay here the rest of the season.”
The way he’s been hitting, it will be hard to unseat him in the everyday lineup.
Ramirez has a slash line of .325/.352/.444 with two home runs, eight doubles and 16 RBIs.
“When I first got here, everybody was throwing me outside,” Ramirez said. “Now, they started throwing me inside, outside, a lot of sliders. I have to do my adjustments.”
Miami closed out the disappointing nine-game homestand at 2-7, and dropped two of three vs. Pittsburgh.
The Pirates came back from 4-3 down in the seventh, scoring twice off Nick Anderson on Melky Cabrera’s run-scoring triple and Josh Bell’s RBI double.
Anderson faced the Pirates on back-to-back days, and after his scoreless eighth inning in Saturday’s 4-3 win, the right-hander allowed three straight hits to open the inning.
“Today, he wasn't as sharp,” Mattingly said. “Obviously, a quick turnaround. … That's what we've been using him for, with the toughest part of the lineup.”
All four Marlins runs came in the fourth inning, with Ramirez connecting on his three-run shot off Chris Archer. Sandy Alcantara, who gave up three runs in six innings, helped his own cause with an RBI single.
The Ramirez homer showed why the rookie is so promising. Per Statcast, it projected 401 feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph and an 18 degree launch angle.
“I threw that pitch right where I wanted to,” Archer said. “I guess it was the wrong pitch. You can go back and look. It was down and in. I was trying to induce a double play. Thought he might roll it over, but he hit it out. I executed a pitch. Dude did a great job of hitting. Sometimes you tip your cap.”
In the fifth inning, Ramirez added a double that had an exit speed of 106.3 mph.
According to Statcast, Ramirez entered the game hitting .348 off four-seam fastballs and .306 against breaking pitches. The home run came on a two-seam fastball.
“I really was just looking for that pitch, because that team was throwing me some inside pitch,” Ramirez said. “Today, I got it.”
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.