Ramirez’s HR, triple helps Cleveland get by Cincinnati, 9-3
CLEVELAND (AP) — José Ramírez hit a two-run homer and an RBI triple, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
Wilson Ramos also had a two-run homer, Amed Rosario was 4 for 5 with an RBI and Cleveland used five pitchers in a planned bullpen game to end Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak.
Justin Garza (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings. The right-hander was the Indians’ second pitcher and worked the third and fourth, striking out three.
Bradley Zimmer hit a 471-foot homer to center field leading off the seventh — the longest by an Indians player this season — and drove in two runs. The ball landed in a wooded area beyond the 400-foot sign on the wall.
“I was told that the only other person that’s hit a ball out there is Jim Thome, so I figured I’m in good company,” Zimmer said.
Thome hit the longest home run in the ballpark that opened in 1994, a 511-foot drive that also was to center field on July 3, 1999, against Kansas City.
“Sounds like I’ve got some work to do,” said Zimmer, who hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning of Sunday’s win against Detroit.
“There were some balls hit today that were at the warning track and they caught it and I’m like, I thought they hit it pretty well,” interim Indians manager DeMarlo Hale said.
“Then when you see Zimmer’s ball, then it’s like OK, that was hit very, very well. You’re talking about over the trees.”
Luis Castillo (6-11) allowed eight runs — including two homers — in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander lost for the first time since June 20, a span of nine starts.
“The location of the pitches wasn’t there and the batters were able to make you pay,” Castillo said through a translator. “It was a bad night for me.”
The game was the makeup of a rainout at Progressive Field on May 9, a series that began with Reds left-hander Wade Miley pitching a no-hitter.
The teams split their six interleague games this season, so Cleveland retained the Ohio Cup for the seventh straight year.
The game was played in a steady rain for several innings.
Ramos’ two-run homer in the second broke a 1-all tie and was the backup catcher’s second since being called up Friday. Ramos was signed to a minor league contract last month after being released by Detroit.
Ramírez’s third-inning triple gave Cleveland a 4-1 lead. His 25th home run in the fourth that curled inside the foul pole pushed the lead to 8-1.
Rosario led off the third with an infield hit and Ramirez followed with a drive to right-center. Aristides Aquino crashed into the wall trying for a leaping catch. Right fielder Nick Castellanos backed up the play but slipped on the wet grass as Rosario scored and Ramírez raced to third.
Both teams scored in the first. Joey Votto’s RBI single gave Cincinnati the lead against starter Sam Hentges. Franmil Reyes’ run-scoring fielder’s choice tied the game.
Castillo fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Indians. The right-hander was charged with six runs in four innings during a 9-2 loss at Progressive Field on May 8.
Castillo thought Ramos’ home run was a key moment in the game.
“I was trying to throw a pitch up high and get a swing and a miss,” Castillo said. “That’s kind of like a turning point for me. It kind of went downhill from there.”
The Reds, who completed a homestand Sunday, chose to fly to Cleveland Monday afternoon and then board a flight to Atlanta following the game.
“The reason we did it is we didn’t want to settle in and get unpacked, pack up again and spend one night in a hotel,” manager David Bell said. “So we can pack our bags one time, play the game and end up in Atlanta tonight.”
The Reds open a three-game series against the Braves on Tuesday night.
Indians: 1B Bobby Bradley (strained left knee) was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game. He was hurt sliding into home plate Friday.
Reds: RHP Sonny Gray (4-4) starts against Atlanta on Tuesday.
Indians: RHP Triston McKenzie (1-5) will pitch the opener of a three-game home series against Oakland on Tuesday.
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