The Guardians dominate the Rangers, sweeping the series with a 9-2 victory, thanks to Jose Ramirez hitting a home run on his birthday, sparking a 9-run inning.

CLEVELAND — José Ramírez homered on his 31st birthday to touch off Cleveland‘s nine-run outburst in the fourth inning, leading the Guardians to a 9-2 win and three-game sweep of the playoff-chasing Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Baltimore and Tampa Bay secured spots in the postseason as a result of Cleveland’s defeat.

Ramírez connected off rookie Cody Bradford (4-2) leading off the fourth and the Guardians kept swinging away. They scored a season-high nine runs on a season-best nine hits – the homer, two doubles and six singles.

In the inning, Andrés Giménez brought in three runs, Gabriel Arias contributed two RBIs, and Ramírez scored a run through a groundout in his second at-bat during the fourth inning. During this inning, the Guardians had 14 batters come up to bat.

The big inning – Cleveland got just one hit the rest of the way – took any stress away for Guardians rookie Gavin Williams (3-5), who limited Texas to one run and four hits in six innings with seven strikeouts.

Cleveland’s chances of making it to the playoffs in the AL Central are extremely slim, which means the Guardians will have to disrupt other teams’ chances in the remaining three weeks.

PHOTOS: José Ramírez homers on birthday to trigger 9-run inning as Guardians rout Rangers 9-2, sweep series

However, the Rangers are currently competing strongly in both the AL West and wild-card races. They entered the day trailing first-place Houston in the division by only half a game, and also securing one of the three wild-card positions.

In the fourth inning, Ramírez hit a home run on his birthday to make the score 1-1. The ball traveled 431 feet and landed just a few rows away from the top of the left-field bleachers.

Ramírez hit his 216th homer, surpassing Larry Doby and joining Carlos Santana and Hal Trosky in fifth place on the Cleveland list. Ramírez consistently performs well, especially on his birthday, with a batting average of .333 (11 for 33), four homers, and nine RBIs in eight games.

After Ramírez hit his 24th home run, Josh Naylor followed with a single and Cleveland managed to connect six consecutive hits before the Rangers substituted Bradford. It is important to note that Bradford has been pitching in relief since his previous start on July 30.

On the mend

Rangers rookie third baseman Josh Jung is expected to be activated Monday after missing more than a month following thumb surgery.

Jong has been absent since August 6th due to an injury he sustained while using his glove hand to catch a 109 mph line drive, initiating a double play against Miami. He underwent surgery three days after the incident.

Manager Bruce Bochy stated that Jong felt positive following his encounter with live pitching and his three-inning play at the team’s facility in Surprise, Arizona on Saturday.

Even though Jong has been absent for a while, he remains a top candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year award. Prior to his injury, he had a batting average of .274, along with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Trainer’s room

Rangers: All-Star OF Adolis García (strained patellar) sprinted in the outfield grass before the game as he nears a return. Garcia has been out since getting hurt while chasing down a play ball on Sept. 6. Bochy said the club wants Garcia to have a larger role than just DH when he’s back.

Guardians: Ace Shane Bieber didn’t allow a hit over 3 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus at Toledo. Bieber, who hasn’t pitched since July 9 for Cleveland due to elbow inflammation, will likely make one more start in the minors before he’s activated.

Up next

Rangers: Begin their final homestand of the regular season Monday against Boston with LHP Jordan Montgomery (9-11, 4.47) facing Red Sox RHP Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.26) in the opener of a three-game series.

Guardians: Open a three-game set in Kansas City on Monday. RHP Cal Quantrill (3-6, 5.40) starts the opener against Royals RHP Brady Singer (8-11, 5.51).

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