Indians stop Reds, 19-4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jose Ramirez homered twice and drove in five runs as the Cleveland Indians took out some frustrations following a brutal loss with a 19-4 thumping of the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Tyler Mahle (7-7) and connected for a three-run shot in Cleveland’s nine-run third. With the Indians up 17-0, the All-Star was replaced in the fifth inning by manager Terry Francona before he could inflict further damage.
Francisco Lindor added a three-run homer and Jason Kipnis homered as the Indians salvaged the interleague series finale by pounding their neighbors from southern Ohio and ending a four-game slide.
It was a much-needed rebound by the AL Central leaders, who squandered a 4-0 lead in the ninth on Tuesday night, when Francona’s miscommunication with pitching coach Carl Willis on a choice of relievers helped the Reds rally for seven runs and stun the Indians.
Carlos Carrasco (10-5) reached 1,000 career strikeouts, and given the humongous lead, coasted through five innings for his second straight win since coming off the disabled list. Adam Plutko worked four innings for his first career save.
Jesse Winker and Scooter Gennett homered for the Reds.
With 27 homers, Ramirez tied irascible slugger Albert Belle for the most in Cleveland history before the All-Star break, and the AL’s starting third baseman in the midsummer classic has four games to make the record his own.
He’s also just two homers shy from his entire total in 2017, and there doesn’t seem to be anything out of reach for the 25-year-old Ramirez, who has emerged as one of baseball’s most unlikely superstars.
Ramirez’s second homer capped Cleveland’s nine-run outburst in the third, giving the Indians a big lead that even their suspect bullpen couldn’t squander.
The Indians’ second nine-run inning this season helped take a little sting out of Tuesday night’s late-inning meltdown, which Francona said kept him up awake most of the night.
Lindor connected in the fourth for his 25th homer.
The Indians said Ramirez and Lindor are the first pair of players under 25 to hit at least 25 homers before the All-Star break.