CLEVELAND- Jose Ramirez hit his second grand slam of the season in an 11-1 win, then had an RBI double in a 2-1 victory as the Cleveland Guardians swept a doubleheader from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
Ramirez, who signed a $141 million, seven-year contract last week, leads the majors with 20 RBIs. Manny Ramirez is the only player in baseball history with more RBIs in a team’s first 11 games, driving in 22 in 1999 with Cleveland.
“It’s crazy how good that guy is at baseball,” Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor said. “Watching Jose play is stellar, man. He’s an All-Star. The guy’s a Hall of Famer, he’s incredible. I’m very thankful that he’s on our side.”
Former Tigers and Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose (1-0) retired all five batters he faced in the nightcap, striking out four, for his first big league victory. Triston McKenzie allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Gose.
The Guardians earned their initial home wins under their new name. They had lost their first three games at Progressive Field to San Francisco.
In the first game, Ramirez’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 opening the inning before being pulled with no outs.
“I watched it back on film, it didn’t look any better,” Keuchel said.
Chicago didn’t help its left-hander, either, making four errors in the first two innings — three by All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson — that contributed to a pair of unearned runs.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you really haven’t,” Keuchel said.
Guardians right hand Shane Bieber (1-0) won for the first time since June 8, 2021, allowing one run and four hits in six innings. The 2020 Cy Young Award winner struck out seven without issuing a walk.
“That was great,” Bieber said. “The longer the inning our hitters have, the better. And the second was a long one.”
Naylor and Mercado had two hits apiece and Myles Straw scored three runs for Cleveland. Second baseman Gabriel Arias made his major league debut in the opener and had his first hit in the second game.
The Monday and Tuesday games between the teams were postponed by rain and cold, prompting a traditional doubleheader to be added to the schedule.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito, on the 10-day injured list with an abdominal strain, rejoined the team in Cleveland after pitching a simulated game Tuesday in Glendale, Arizona. Giolito, who tossed four scoreless innings and struck out six before being hurt April 8 at Detroit, said he expects to be activated and start Sunday at Minnesota.
White Sox: 3B Josh Harrison (right shoulder soreness) exited the second game after making an acrobatic catch in the fifth. . OF Eloy Jimenez (left ankle soreness) was held out of the lineup after working out on the field, but was available to pinch-hit.
Guardians: 1B Owen MillerRHP 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 a 1.509 OPS. Quantrill was scheduled to make his next start Friday.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Cease (2-0, 1.69 ERA) has struck out 16 over 10 2/3 innings in his first two outings.
Guardians: RHP Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.64 ERA) owns a six-start winless streak, going 0-3 with a 4.19 ERA.