CHICAGO (AP)Cleveland Indians star Jose Ramirez hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance after missing a month with a broken hand, then followed with a three-run drive in his second.
Batting left-handed, Ramirez lofted a 3-1 pitch from Chicago White Sox right-hander Carson Fulmer into the right field stands with two outs in the first inning for a 4-0 lead Tuesday night.
Ramirez homered again in third, this time from the right side of Hector Santiago for an 8-0 advantage. His 22nd homer went deep into the left-field stands and gave him a career-high seven RBIs. He homered from both sides in a game for the fourth time.
Ramirez was activated from the 10-day injured list prior to the game. Ramirez, who turned 27 last week, broke a bone in his right hand on Aug. 24 against Kansas City. He had surgery two days later.
”I’m not 100 percent on my wrist, but still I feel a big improvement and I’m ready to play,” Ramirez said through a translator before the opener of the three-game series in Chicago.
The two-time All-Star hit .254 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in his first 126 games this season. He hit .320 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 46 games in July and August.
”The idea is that he can hopefully play a lot,” manager Terry Francona said. ”Pitchers have to respect who he is. Ot’s one less position we have to pick and choose or kind of platoon or whatever we’ve been doing in a couple of positions.”
Second baseman Jason Kipnis underwent season-ending surgery Tuesday, also for a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.
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