CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Ramirez turned on a knee-high pitch and launched the Indians toward a lopsided victory.
Ramirez hit his 14th homer and Cleveland routed the Chicago Cubs 10-1 on Tuesday night in their first meeting at Wrigley Field since the 2016 World Series.
The AL Central leaders moved back to .500 with an easy victory against the team that beat them two years ago to end a 108-year championship drought.
Ramirez got Cleveland going with his three-run drive in the third. The Indians scored four times in the inning while chasing a wild Tyler Chatwood (3-4) and simply poured it on after that.
“He’s one of the better hitters in the game,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “You look at him (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) and I don’t know if you necessarily think you see a guy who can drive the ball out of the ballpark like that. And now as he’s accumulating some experience, he knows the pitchers, he knows how they’re attacking him. It makes him even better.”
Trevor Bauer (4-3) went six innings in his second straight scoreless start. The right-hander gave up seven hits and struck out six while walking two after shutting down Detroit over eight innings in a win last week.
Yonder Alonso had three of Cleveland’s 11 hits, including a three-run double in the fifth to make it 10-0.
Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a pair of singles and scored two runs. Francisco Lindor added two hits and two runs, and the Indians started the two-game series on a winning note after the teams split two games in Cleveland last month.
Chatwood walked six while allowing four runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon said Chatwood has a “busy delivery” that the Cubs need to “harness.”
“If you watch his delivery closely, there’s a lot going on,” Maddon said. “That tends to lead to lack of command of the fastball, and he’s not the only guy. There are other pitchers that are like that, too.”