Indians third baseman José Ramírez returned from the injured list in style on Tuesday evening against the White Sox, belting a grand slam in his first at-bat. With two outs, Carlos Santana walked, Yasiel Puig singled, and Jordan Luplow walked to load the bases for Ramírez. Ramírez worked a 3-1 count against Carson Fulmer before putting a good swing on a 93 MPH fastball, sending into the seats in right field at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Ramírez, 27, missed a month due to a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He was in the midst of, by his standards, a down year, batting .254/.325/.463 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI in 532 plate appearances. Down year or not, the Indians are happy to see him back in the lineup just in time for the stretch run.
Update: Ramirez added a three-run home run in the third inning, this time from the right side of the plate. Two homers, seven RBI. Not a bad first day back on the job.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano had a six-game suspension reduced to four games Friday after appealing the penalty for his role in a benches-clearing brawl with the rival Houston Astros.
Major League Baseball said a settlement had been reached and the A’s were informed of the decision. Laureano was set to begin the four-game suspension Friday night and will miss a three-game weekend Bay Bridge Series against the San Francisco Giants. After sitting out Monday at Arizona, he will be eligible to play Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron received a 20-game suspension and a fine Tuesday for his role in the fracas at Oakland last Sunday. Laureano also received a fine.
Cintron’s suspension is the longest for an on-field transgression in 15 years, since Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers received 20 games for his altercation with two cameramen in 2005.
Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory – the third time he got hit in the series and the fifth time overall for an A’s batter. Houston players weren’t plunked at all. He pointed at Castellanos and began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintron then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward the 41-year-old Cintron.
Astros catcher Dustin Garneau tackled Laureano before the A’s outfielder got to the hitting coach. Laureano is a former Astros player and the rival clubs have been the top two teams in the AL West the past two years. A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, another former Houston player, revealed the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in November to The Athletic.