MINNEAPOLIS -- Since he moved in the third spot last week Alexei Ramirez has rediscovered his power stroke.
The White Sox shortstop homered for the third time in 11 games as part of a three-hit, three-RBI day in the team’s 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. Ramirez has now homered three times in 11 games after he went 451 at-bats in between long balls earlier this season.
Ramirez said he has changed his swing a bit because his role has changed from when the team had him hit first and second in the lineup earlier this season.
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“If I’m hitting first or second, I feel like my job is to do something else, to get on base or to move the runner and if a home run happens, it happens,” Ramirez said through a translator. “But if I’m hitting third or fifth or sixth, it’s a place I have to brings guys in. I have a chance to expand my swing and try to get something big if I can.”
Ramirez got a big day started early as he singled in a run in the first inning against Twins starter Samuel Deduno (7-7) to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Ramirez doubled in Alejandro De Aza, who had been hit by a pitch, to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.
Ramirez was back at it in the fifth when he homered on a 2-0 cut-fastball from Deduno, his fourth of the season. Manager Robin Ventura notices the difference in how Ramirez has handled the bat in the third spot.
“He likes hitting third I guess,” Ventura said. “He showed a little bit of power. Batting second for one reason or another, he kind of just stayed the other way. Now there’s probably more guys on base, and he’s come up with some big situations. He stayed in the middle of the field and started to pull the ball again. He just looks better at the plate.”
Ramirez said he does like the added responsibility of the third spot. Hitting for power is also something he has shown he can do in the past as evidenced by his totals from 2008-11. In those seasons, Ramirez averaged 17 homers and 71 RBIs.
Since he moved into the third spot the day Alex Rios was traded to Texas, Ramirez has a .319/.327/.574 slash line with three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs.
“I feel really good in there,” Ramirez said. “For me, that’s a special place to hit. You have the opportunity to expand. You can hit far. You can move the runner. You can bring run. You can single. You can do a little bit of everything, which I like.”