José Ramírez 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.
Ramírez, who signed a $141 million, seven-year contract last week, leads the majors with 20 RBIs. Manny Ramírez 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 José 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.
“It’s completely different and harder to do it on this side, rather than as a hitter,” said Gose, who spent four years in the minors becoming a pitcher. “I didn’t even know I got the win until Triston told me. It means a lot.”
Ramírez and Oscar Mercado both had RBI doubles off White Sox starter Jimmy Lambert (0-2). Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for Cleveland’s first save this season.
The Guardians earned their initial home wins under their new name. They had lost their first three games at Progressive Field to San Francisco.
“That was fun to watch because everybody did their job,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “It was a long day, but it ends up being a good day.”
In the first game, Ramírez’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.
Anderson doubled home Adam Engel for the White Sox’s run in the first game and Danny Mendick had an RBI double that scored Reese McGuire in the second. Chicago had eight total hits and five errors.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you really haven’t,” Keuchel said.
Guardians right-hander 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.”
Mercado had three hits, Myles Straw scored three runs, and Ramírez and Naylor each had two hits for Cleveland. Second baseman Gabriel Arias made his major league debut in the first game and singled in the second.
The Monday and Tuesday games between the teams were postponed by rain and cold, prompting a traditional doubleheader to be added to the schedule.
“The manager didn’t get them ready to play,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “I take the heat for that. They’re men, not machines, and that’s my responsibility.”
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 Jiménez (left ankle soreness) was held out of the lineup after working out on the field, but was available to pinch-hit.
Guardians: 1B Owen Miller, RHP 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.
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