CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Jose Ramirez is fine.
Starter Aaron Civale might not be following his strongest start of the year that saw him depart in the seventh after suffering what the team is calling a left glute strain.
A day after fouling a ball off his right shin, Ramirez slugged his ninth home run of the season and Civale didn’t allow an earned run in 6 1/3 innings to power the Guardians past the Tigers 6-1 in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 23,874 Friday night at Progressive Field.
“I felt good,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “During the game I didn’t even think about it. The plays come to you and you just react.”
Tigers starter Tarik Skubal was forced from the game after five innings when he took a line drive off the bat of Ernie Clement. Skubal allowed four hits and struck out five before hobbling back to the dugout.
The Guardians greeted Tigers reliever Jacob Barnes with four straight hits. Austin Hedges, Myles Straw and Amed Rosario singled with Rosario driving in the first run for a 1-0 lead before Ramirez smashed a three-run shot to the seats in right to make 4-0 to chants of Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose! Jose! Jose!
“It was really exciting,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “You really get that extra motivation. It’s exciting to see them cheering and hear the [chants].”
Myles Straw and Amed Rosario set the table well at the top of the lineup. The duo combined to go 5-for-8 with four runs scored. Rosario also drove in a pair of runs.
“Its really comfortable knowing you have the speed in front of you and the power behind meu,” Rosario said through an interpreter.
Ramirez tripled in the first inning, showing that his right shin was just fine after fouling a ball off it the day before in the eighth inning. He showed his range on multiple defensive plays at third too.
“He was tested early,” acting manager DeMarlo Hale said.
“For the first five innings it was a pretty good pitching duel then the big blow by him really kind of got us going a little bit.”
Unfortunately, Civale’s best start of the season got cut short in the top of the seventh.
“Feel good,” Civale said. “Took a tumble there but you just work on it the next few days and move forward.
“I think the impact of the ground and then the next pitch just felt wasn’t fully working properly so I think we’ll just give it a couple of days and work on it and see ow it goes but it’s already improving so far.”
With one out, and a runner on, Civale was unable to cleanly field a ball to his left and get it to first base resulting in an error charged to him and runners on the corners. On the next pitch Civale showed obvious discomfort and had to leave the game following a consultation on the mound with Hale, pitching coach Carl Willis and team trainers.
“Just a cramp,” Hale said. “We weren’t going to take any chances with where he was at in the game so we thought it was best to get him out.”
Civale allowed one unearned run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
“He was pretty good,” Hale said. “You think about with only three strikeouts, they put the bat on the ball but it wasn’t hard… Very good outing for him and good to see.”
Enyel De Los Santos and Emmanuel Clase didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way.
The Guardians tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to back-to-back doubles from Myles Straw and Rosario to lead off the inning to make it 5-1 before Owen Miller added a sac fly to right to bring home the sixth run of the night.