Ramirez, Tribe Crush Reds

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jose Ramirez homered twice and drove in five runs as the Cleveland Indians took out some frustrations following a brutal loss with a 19-4 thumping of the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Tyler Mahle (7-7) and connected for a three-run shot in Cleveland’s nine-run third. With the Indians up 17-0, the All-Star was replaced in the fifth inning by manager Terry Francona before he could inflict further damage.

Francisco Lindor added a three-run homer and Jason Kipnis homered as the Indians salvaged the interleague series finale by pounding their neighbors from southern Ohio and ending a four-game slide.

It was a much-needed rebound by the AL Central leaders, who squandered a 4-0 lead in the ninth on Tuesday night, when Francona’s miscommunication with pitching coach Carl Willis on a choice of relievers helped the Reds rally for seven runs and stun the Indians.

Carlos Carrasco (10-5) reached 1,000 career strikeouts, and given the humongous lead, coasted through five innings for his second straight win since coming off the disabled list. Adam Plutko worked four innings for his first career save.

Jesse Winker and Scooter Gennett homered for the Reds.

With 27 homers, Ramirez tied irascible slugger Albert Belle for the most in Cleveland history before the All-Star break, and the AL’s starting third baseman in the midsummer classic has four games to make the record his own.

He’s also just two homers shy from his entire total in 2017, and there doesn’t seem to be anything out of reach for the 25-year-old Ramirez, who has emerged as one of baseball’s most unlikely superstars.

Ramirez’s second homer capped Cleveland’s nine-run outburst in the third, giving the Indians a big lead that even their suspect bullpen couldn’t squander.

The Indians’ second nine-run inning this season helped take a little sting out of Tuesday night’s late-inning meltdown, which Francona said kept him up awake most of the night.

DYNAMIC DUO

Lindor connected in the fourth for his 25th homer. The Indians said Ramirez and Lindor are the first pair of players under 25 to hit at least 25 homers before the All-Star break.

White Sox 4, Cardinals 0

CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Rodon pitched three-hit, shutout ball into the eighth inning to outduel Luke Weaver and lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Tim Anderson tripled and had two RBIs. Charlie Tilson singled in a run off reliever Mike Mayers in Chicago’s two-run seventh and Jose Abreu added an RBI groundout as White Sox ended a six-game losing streak and won for just the third time in their last 13.

Braves 9, Blue Jays 5

ATLANTA (AP) — Ozzie Albies snapped Atlanta’s power drought with two homers, and the Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Wednesday night to move back into a tie for the NL East lead.

Mike Foltynewicz (7-5) and the Braves led 7-0 before Toronto scored five runs in the seventh on Justin Smoak’s leadoff homer and a grand slam by Devon Travis. But Albies hit a two-run shot in the eighth to help Atlanta hold on for just its second win in eight games.

Mets 3, Phillies 0

10 Innings

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning and the New York Mets got another dominant outing from All-Star Jacob deGrom in a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Giants 5, Cubs 4

13 Innings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Buster Posey would prefer not to discuss his inflamed right hip, and notes that if it wasn’t the reason he has to skip the All-Star Game it might still be a secret that he needs an injection once the first half wraps up this weekend.

It has affected him hitting and behind the plate.

That’s what made Posey’s game-ending hit all the more impressive.

Posey singled off the right-field wall with two outs in the 13th inning for his fifth career game-ending hit, sending the San Francisco Giants past the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Wednesday.

Yankees 9, Orioles 0

BALTIMORE (AP) — Greg Bird hit his first career grand slam to back a dominating pitching performance by Sonny Gray, and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 Wednesday night for a split of the four-game series.

Rookie Tyler Wade and Austin Romine also homered for the Yankees, and Giancarlo Stanton had four hits.

Red Sox 4, Rangers 2

BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale struck out 12 in seven innings of shutout ball in his final start before the All-Star Game, and major league batting leader Mookie Betts had two more hits on Wednesday night to lead the Boston Red Sox to their ninth straight victory, 4-2 over the Texas Rangers.

Sale (10-4) allowed six hits and walked one to win his fifth straight decision and move the Red Sox 36 games above .500 for the first time since Bucky Dent homered into the net above the Green Monster in a one-game playoff to settle the 1978 AL East title.

Twins 8, Royals 5

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian Dozier hit a two-run home run, going deep for the second straight game to give the Minnesota Twins a boost on their way to an 8-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

Lance Lynn (7-7) recovered from a three-run homer by Salvador Perez in the first inning to win his second straight start for the Twins, who used the bottom third of their lineup to launch rallies in the second and the fourth against Royals starter Burch Smith (0-1).

Max Kepler, Jake Cave and Bobby Wilson went 6 for 11 with five runs scored. Wilson, whose batting average fell to .114 last week, had two RBIs and was one of three Twins with three hits, joining Dozier and Joe Mauer. Wilson, the backup catcher, is now hitting .169.

Mike Moustakas homered twice for the Royals, who have the fewest home runs in MLB, but took the Twins deep five times over the last two games of this series. Kansas City has lost 23 of its past 27 games.

Dozier sent his 15th homer of the season into the second deck above left field in the sixth inning against reliever Enny Romero. Logan Morrison hit a solo shot one out later, padding Minnesota’s lead.

Rays 4, Tigers 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — C.J. Cron’s three-run home run in the seventh inning carried the Tampa Bay Rays to their fifth straight win, a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Cron’s 18th homer came off Jordan Zimmermann after singles by Kevin Kiermaier and Matt Duffy.

Cron and Kiermaier each had three hits for the Rays, who have won 14 of 18. It was only the second multi-hit game of the season for Kiermaier, who drove in the game’s first run with his second homer of the season in the third inning.

James McCann’s two-run homer off Matt Andriese in the fourth had given Detroit a 2-1 lead that lasted until Cron’s homer. It was McCann’s sixth homer of the season.

The Tigers, who struck out 14 times against five Tampa Bay pitchers, have lost four straight and 18 of 22.

Rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (8-4) got the win after giving up one hit in three innings of relief. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 16 opportunities.

The Rays have won 14 of their past 15 home games, giving up two runs or fewer in 12 of them.

Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann (4-1) gave up four runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out five. He threw a season-high 105 pitches.

The Rays’ Hunter Wood pitched one inning in his first major league start, giving up two hits while striking out two.

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