Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez said he was “ready to play” after being activated from the injured list on Tuesday. Two home runs later, it seems he may have been understating matters.
The switch-hitting Ramirez hit a first-inning grand slam in his first plate appearance since Aug. 24, hitting left-handed against Chicago White Sox starter Carson Fulmer. He followed that up with a three-run shot from the right side of plate in the third against reliever Hector Santiago.
With the Indians up 11-0 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, manager Terry Francona replaced Ramirez in the lineup with Yu Chang. Ramirez finished the game 2-for-3, striking out in his final at-bat.cheap nike nfl jerseys china
Ramirez had missed four weeks during Cleveland’s drive for an American League playoff spot because of a broken fractured hamate bone in his right hand. The seven RBI through three innings on Tuesday were a career high for a game for Ramirez.
Ramirez was activated from the 10-day injured list prior to the game. Ramirez, who turned 27 last week, suffered the hamate injury 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 was on a tear before getting hurt, hitting .320 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 46 games in July and August.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap
“The idea is that he can hopefully play a lot,” Francona said. “Pitchers have to respect who he is.
“It’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.”
Cleveland was a half-game back of Tampa Bay for the second wild card entering Tuesday. They led Chicago 8-0 after Ramirez’s second blast. Roberto Perez also homered for the Indians.
The Indians have been hit hard by injuries all year. Second baseman Jason Kipnis underwent season-ending surgery Tuesday, also for a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.
Before Ramirez went on the IL, he had turned around sub-par first-half performance. In 85 games before the All-Star break, he hit .218 with a .652 OPS over 85 games. Before his injury, Ramirez began the second half by hitting .327 with a 1.068 OPS.