Ramirez 9th Inning Heroics Lead White Sox Past Indians
The White Sox trump card so far this young season is their offensive weaponry, and manager Robin Ventura’s crew has been dealing.
Alexei Ramirez provided the ninth-inning heroics Sunday with a dramatic two-run walk-off homer for a 4-3 victory over the Indians at rain-soaked U.S. Cellular Field.
Ramirez is hitting .420 with 12 RBIs during his 13-game hitting streak to start the season.
“Everybody knows me as an aggressive hitter,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “I am going to go looking for a good pitch to hit. And when I get it, I am going to swing at it. That’s what happened. He just left me a pitch up there, and I was able to put a good swing on it.”
The Sox had taken a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning on a solo homer by Marcus Semien. But Sox closer Matt Lindstrom ran into trouble in the ninth.
Michael Brantley reached first to lead off the inning when his hard grounder was botched by rookie first baseman Jose Abreu for an error.
Yan Gomes singled before David Murphy drove in the tying run with a base hit. Mike Aviles sacrificed the runners to second and third before Nick Swisher stepped to the plate with one out. Lindstrom unleashed a wild pitch, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
“Closing’s tough, it’s not easy for anybody,” Ventura said. “Once you give them an extra out, for whatever reason, whether you’re walking a guy or there’s an error that happens, it becomes tough, especially in a one-run game.”
In the bottom of the ninth, Jordan Danks drew a walk and stole second. After Alejandro De Aza popped out, Ramirez stepped in for the 47th game-ending homer in U.S. Cellular Field history and his second homer of the season.
“The way things have been going lately, no game’s over just because we’re down a run, especially going into the ninth,” Danks said.
The start of Sunday’s game was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes because of rain. With the Indians ahead 1-0 in the fourth inning, rain again delayed the game, this time for 45 minutes.
Sox starter Jose Quintana went six innings, allowing one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out six while throwing a career-high 121 pitches.
Ventura said he is impressed with the offensive versatility of his lineup after the Sox came through with their third comeback win of the season.
“You’re not scoring just one way,” he said. “A couple of years ago we could only score really if we hit homers. Last year we didn’t score much any way. But this year there have been a couple different ways to score. Every inning they feel like they have a chance to score. And it’s up and down the lineup too.”