José Ramírez hit his second Grand Slam of the season in an 11-1 win, then scored an RBI brace in a 2-1 victory as the Cleveland Guardians swept a double to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
Ramírez, who signed a seven-year, $141 million contract last week, leads the Majors with 20 RBIs. Manny Ramírez is the only player in baseball history with more RBIs in a team’s first 11 games, driving 22 in 1999 with Cleveland.
“It’s crazy how good this guy is at baseball,” Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor said. “Watching Jose play is stellar, man. He’s an All-Star. The guy is a Hall of Famer, he’s amazing. I’m so grateful he’s on our side.
Former Tigers and Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose (1-0) struck out all five batters he faced in the final drink, striking out four, for his first major league victory. Triston McKenzie allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings before making way for Gose.
“It’s completely different and harder to do it on this side than as a hitter,” said Gose, who spent four years in the minors to pitch. “I didn’t even know I had won until Triston told me. It means a lot.”
Both Ramírez and Oscar Mercado had an RBI brace against White Sox starter Jimmy Lambert (0-2). Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for Cleveland’s first stoppage this season.
The Guardians picked up their first home wins under their new name. They had lost their first three games at Progressive Field to San Francisco.
“It was fun to watch because everyone did their job,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “It was a long day, but it ended up being a good day.”
In Game 1, Ramírez’s slam highlighted a nine-run second inning against Dallas Keuchel, who was roughed up for a career-high 10 runs. The former Cy Young Award winner allowed eight straight hits in the opening inning before being struck out without a strikeout.
“I saw it again on film, it didn’t look any better,” Keuchel said.
Chicago didn’t help its southpaw either, making four errors in the first two innings — three by All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson — that contributed to a pair of unearned runs.
Anderson doubled Adam Engel at home for the White Sox run in Game 1 and Danny Mendick scored an RBI brace that scored Reese McGuire in Game 2. Chicago had eight total hits and five errors.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you really haven’t,” Keuchel said.
Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber (1-0) won for the first time since June 8, 2021, allowing one run and four hits over six innings. The 2020 Cy Young Award winner pulled out seven without issuing a walk.
“It was awesome,” Bieber said. “The longer the inning for our hitters, the better. And the second was long.
Mercado had three hits, Myles Straw scored three runs, and Ramírez and Naylor each had two hits for Cleveland. Second baseman Gabriel Arias made his major league debut in the first game and hit a single in the second.
Monday and Tuesday matches between the teams were postponed by rain and cold, prompting a traditional doubleheader to be added to the schedule.
“The manager didn’t prepare them to play,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “I take the heat for that. They are men, not machines, and that is my responsibility.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito, on the 10-day injured list with abdominal strain, joined the team in Cleveland after kicking off a mock game Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz. Giolito, who pitched four scoreless innings and struck out six before being injured April 8 in Detroit, said he expects to be activated and start Sunday in Minnesota.
White Sox: 3B Josh Harrison (right shoulder pain) left Game 2 after performing an acrobatic catch in the fifth. … OF Eloy Jiménez (left ankle pain) was dropped from training after working on the pitch, but was available to pinch.
Keepers: 1B Owen Miller, RHP Cal Quantrill and RHP Anthony Castro joined 1B Yu Chang on the COVID-19 injured list. Miller leads the Majors with a .500 batting average and 1.509 OPS. Quantrill was due to make his next start on Friday.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Cease (2-0, 1.69 ERA) struck out 16 in 10 2/3 innings in his first two outings.
Goaltenders: RHP Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.64 ERA) boasts a six-start winless streak, going 0-3 with a 4.19 ERA.
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