CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Guardians completed their second sweep of the season with a 9-2 victory over the Rangers in Sunday’s series finale.
Jose Ramirez hit his fourth career home run on his birthday when he led off the fourth inning with a 431-foot blast to the left-field bleachers. His four home runs on his birthday are the most in Cleveland franchise history.
“You can use any superlative you want and he checks that box,” manager Terry Francona said. “That’s the kind of player he is.”
Ramirez is now tied with Carlos Santana and Hal Trosky for the fifth most home runs hit in club history with 216.
The five batters that followed Ramirez in the fourth all reached safely with base hits which forced Rangers starter Cody Bradford out of the game. Andres Gimenez, Tyler Freeman, Gabriel Arias, and Steven Kwan all drove in runs with singles.
“Hitting’s contagious,” Kwan said. “I feel like I always say that. I mean seeing our top dog do that and kind of leading the charge, you can’t help but kinda want to join that party.”
By the time the Rangers had recorded three outs in the inning, the Guardians had tallied nine runs on nine hits. Both of those figures are new season highs for Cleveland in a single inning.
The fourth inning was welcomed by Guardians starter Gavin Williams who came into the series finale with an average of 3.73 runs of support per outing. He retired 12 of the last 15 batters he faced.
“It’s such a pleasure to be able to sit up here every five days and say this kid is not just good, but he’s getting better and it’s exciting,” Francona said. “It’s exciting now, I think it’s even more exciting thinking about his future. It’s going to be very bright.”
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Williams allowed one run on four hits in six innings pitched. He struck out seven batters on 97 pitches, 62 of which were strikes.
“Just attacking the zone really,” Williams said about his key to success. “I was just too fine with teams earlier in the year. I know I got good stuff and just attacking with it.”
Cleveland split the regular season series with Texas 3-3. The Guardians have won or tied the season series against Texas in nine of the last 10 years.
The Guardians (72-78) hit the road following the 9-2 win. They’ll be in Kansas City for the next three days to play the Royals (48-102). Cal Quantrill (3-6, 5.40 ERA) will open the series for the Guardians. Quantrill is 6-0 against the Royals in his career, and Cleveland is 7-3 against Kansas City this season.