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José Ramírez Homers Twice, Drives in Three to Lead Guardians Past Royals


By: Steve Herrick, AP News


CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — José Ramírez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth, leading the Cleveland Guardians past the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Wednesday.

Ramírez has 22 multi-homer games in his career, including two this season. He homered into the right field seats in the first and cleared the wall in center in the fourth for his 16th of the season.

Ramírez was 3 for 4 with a check-swing infield hit in the sixth and a walk in the second followed by a stolen base, and he scored three runs. He was finally retired on a groundout in the eighth.

“He’s one of the best hitters in the game and has been for a long time,” said Royals manager Matt Quatraro, a former assistant hitting coach with Cleveland. “He doesn’t strike out. He battles regardless of how good your stuff is. He doesn’t care.”

David Fry hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Steven Kwan had two RBIs. Cleveland moved to 51-51 and trails Minnesota by two games in the AL Central.

Fry is in his first season with the Guardians and quickly became a Ramírez fan.

“Everything he does, we just kind of expect at this point,” Fry said. “He goes 0 for 1, we’re just like, he’s probably going to get three hits his next three at-bats. He’s pretty impressive.”

Cleveland starter Gavin Williams pitched four scoreless innings but was pulled after throwing 85 pitches. It was his first start since developing a blister on his middle finger Friday against Philadelphia. The rookie right-hander threw 31 pitches and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first.

He said the blister was manageable, but he needs to cut down on his pitch count getting so high early in games.

“I know my stuff plays up here,” he said. “It just got to be more efficient.”

Nick Sandlin (5-3) allowed a run in the fifth.

Kansas City starter Alec Marsh (0-5) allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings. The rookie right-hander has lost each of his five major league starts. Marsh has allowed nine home runs in 23 innings.

MJ Melendez hit a solo homer in the ninth for Kansas City. Maikel Garcia had an RBI single in the fifth and Dairon Blanco drove in a run with an eighth-inning single. Kansas City loaded the bases again with one out in the sixth but failed to score.

Cleveland has won three straight series for the first time since ending the 2022 season with five straight series wins.

Ramírez’s first-inning homer followed a walk to Andrés Giménez. Kwan had an RBI single in the second and drew a bases-loaded walk in the third.

Williams dodged trouble in the first. Center fielder Myles Straw made a leaping catch at the wall on a drive hit by Bobby Witt Jr. for the second out. Two singles and a walk followed. The inning ended when Freddy Fermin popped out to Giménez at second base.

Williams struck out five and allowed three hits. The Guardians are closely monitoring the workloads of Williams and rookies Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen. Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill are on Cleveland’s injured list.


The Guardians signed veteran left-hander Amir Garrett to a minor league contract. Garrett, 31, was released by Kansas City earlier this month after going 0-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 27 games. He pitched 24 1/3 innings, striking out 28 and walking 20.


Royals: RHP Brad Keller (shoulder impingement) is nearing the conclusion of a 30-day minor league rehab assignment that began June 28. He hasn’t pitched for Kansas City since May 15.


Royals: RHP Brady Singer (6-8, 5.55 ERA) is the scheduled starter Friday night at home against Minnesota.

Guardians: RHP Tanner Bibee (6-2, 3.04 ERA) will start Thursday night in the opener of a four-game road series against the Chicago White Sox.