José Ramírez homered in his first three at-bats, and from both sides of the plate, to propel the Cleveland Guardians to a 10-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
Ramirez hit a solo shot in the first off Matt Dermody (0-1), hit a two-run shot, his 200th career home run, in the third and added another solo shot in the sixth as the Guardians hit for the cycle. he had eight straight hits and scored five times.
Ramírez appeared for the second time on the sixth bid for a rare four home run game, but he struck out on a swing. The four-time All-Star third baseman got another chance in the eighth and grounded out to third.
“My last two at-bats I was driving them away,” Ramirez admitted.
There have only been 16 four-homer games in the majors since 1901. The last to do so was Arizona’s JD Martinez in 2017. Cleveland got one from Rocky Colavito on June 10, 1959.
“Everyone in (the locker room) would say the same thing, he’s the best player in the game,” said Cleveland starter Aaron Civale (2-1), who had his second straight solid start. single night
“He may not be the most talented on paper. It may not be considered the best. But when he plays the way he does, he’s the best in the game.”
Ramirez also showed some of his defensive prowess in the sixth by backhanding Justin Turner’s hard throw and losing his footing across the diamond to catch Boston’s third baseman as he fell back into foul territory.
“If that was back in the day like Brooks Robinson, that play would show up over and over again,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said.
Will Brennan added a home run as the Guardians won the series and handed the Red Sox their fifth loss in six games. Boston is below .500 for the first time since April 28.
“It’s not the kind of baseball we want to play,” manager Alex Cora said. “But here we are.”
Triston Casas chased after Civale in the sixth with his seventh home run to pull Boston within 3-2.
But Cleveland, whose offense has woken up after a slow start, hit former teammate Corey Kluber in the sixth. After Ramírez homered, Andrés Giménez hit a two-run double, Myles Straw hit an RBI triple, and Brennan singled as the Guardians opened up an 8–2 lead.
Kluber, who was recently demoted to the bullpen, was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings. When manager Alex Cora removed him, Kluber, a two-time Cy Young winner with Cleveland, walked slowly from the mound where he had so much success to the Boston dugout.
“It’s really tough,” Cora said of seeing Kluber hit so hard. “He couldn’t buy a break.”
Dermody’s first major league start came with some controversy.
The lefty posted a homophobic tweet in 2021, and has since deleted it, which the Red Sox didn’t know about when they signed Dermody in January. He participated in the team’s mandatory anti-discrimination and bullying prevention training in March.
The team called Dermodys’ post “hurtful” and Cora praised the club’s handling of the matter.
“You have to say things as they are and be transparent,” Cora helps.