CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jose Ramirez blooped his way out of an 0-for-16 slump on Wednesday night with a soft single to center field.
Ramirez came all the way out of that funk on Thursday night as the Indians ran amok over the Reds, 13-0, at Progressive Field behind six strong innings by Carlos Carrasco and the pitching staff’s fourth shutout in 14 games.
On a first-inning swing that had Tom Hamilton’s voice echoing throughout empty the empty ballpark, Ramirez gave the Indians a 1-0 lead with a line-drive homer off Luis Castillo as the second batter of the game. It was Ramirez’s third homer of the season and it came on a 3-2 pitch.
There was a lot more where that came from, as Ramirez added a triple and another homer to awaken an offense that had spent the first 13 games of the season in near silence. The Indians, following a four-game losing streak, have won three straight.
“I think that was key to get us on the board and take a little tension away from the offense,” said Ramirez, through interpreter Agustin Rivero.
Ramirez started a two-run rally in the fifth with a triple off Castillo that scored Cesar Hernandez from first base for a 2-0 lead. Francisco Lindor, hitting .194 (6-for-31) at home, singled to right to make it 3-0. After Ramirez’s first-inning homer, and before Hernandez drew a two-out walk in the fifth, Castillo (0-2, 4.76) and Carrasco looked like they were going to match each other zero for zero.
Castillo struck out seven from the second through the first two outs of the fifth inning before the game changed dramatically for him. Carrasco (2-1, 2.50), meanwhile, just kept rolling along.
Carrasco allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings. He struck out eight and walked four to improve 4-0 lifetime in his career against the Reds. Cam Hill, Phil Maton and Adam Plutko completed the three-hit shutout with a scoreless inning each.
It was the Indians’ second shutout over the Reds in as many games. They beat Cincinnati, 2-0, on Wednesday.
The win represented a virtual cornucopia of offense for the run-starved Indians. They entered the game having scored 34 runs in their first 13 games, an average of 2.6 per game. In the seventh inning alone Thursday, they scored 10 runs.
That’s right, 10 runs. Their highest run total in their first 13 games was nine. The last time the Indians scored 10 runs in an inning was Sept. 28, 2018 against Kansas City.
The inning featured Ramirez’s second homer of the game, a two-run drive to left. It was the second time this season he’s homered from both sides of the plate and the sixth time in his career.
“I knew this would happen,” said Ramirez. “We have a great group of guys, who are acknowledged MLB hitters. So I knew this was going to happen. I knew we had the talent and that this was a possibility.”
Hernandez, just before Ramirez homered, hit a three-run double. The inning also included three bases-loaded walks by Jose De Leon. Carlos Santana, Beau Taylor and Delino DeShields walked with the bases loaded to collect an easy RBI. Santana finished the game with four walks, the fourth time he’s done it in his career.
DeShields, in his first start of the season after being added to the roster before the game, started the 10-run rally with a leadoff single. In his second plate appearance, he drew a bases-loaded walk.
“We heard that people were saying that the Indians have no hitting,” said Ramirez, when asked about the 10-run inning. “This is just a reminder that we’re good, that we can produce and we can produce for the rest of the season.”
It was not a good night for the Reds.
The Indians, with the win, retained the Ohio Cup outright. They had already clinched it with their 2-0 victory on Wednesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead in the four-game series. It meant if the Reds tied the series on Thursday, the Indians would have still keep the Cup.
Ramirez was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Ohio Cup.
In the sixth inning, with the Indians leading, 3-0, Carrasco had two on and two out with Jesse Winker at the plate. Plate umpire Jerry Meals called Winker out to draw a boisterous protest from the Reds dugout. Manager David Bell came out on the field to argue the call, but was immediately ejected by Meals. Winker, in the process, was ejected as well.
Matt Davidson, a position player, pitched the eighth and final inning for the Reds.
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