CLEVELAND -- Wilson Ramos is already in pretty nice company and his major league career is exactly one game old.
Ramos became the first Twins player with four hits in his debut since Kirby Puckett in May 1984, helping Minnesota to an 8-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday."What a debut for the kid," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.No kidding.
Getting To Know Ramos
• Wilson Ramos is the 21st player and first catcher in the modern era (since 1900) to record four hits in his MLB debut.
• The last player with four hits in his major league debut was Derrick Gibson for the Rockies on Sept. 8, 1998 against the Marlins.
• The only other Twin to debut with four hits was Kirby Puckett on May 8, 1984 against the Angels.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
The last player to debut with four hits was Derrick Gibson of Colorado on Sept. 9, 1998."I was relaxed because I played in Venezuela and there's a lot of crazy fans," Ramos said. "Now, I am very excited and very happy. Kirby Puckett -- I never thought of my name with his."Delmon Young homered and also had four hits for the Twins, who gave left-hander Francisco Liriano more than enough offensive support in another impressive start. Minnesota fininshed with 20 hits in the game."That's a lot," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "They made Progressive Field look small."Liriano (4-0) was 12-3 as a rookie in 2006, then missed all of '07 after Tommy John surgery. He was 11-17 with a 5.12 ERA the past two years, but has a 1.50 ERA this season."Once Liriano calmed down, he was tough," Gardenhire said. "Frankie was rushing, but got through it and was fine."Liriano struck out nine over seven innings, though his scoreless streak ended at 23 innings in the first inning. The left-hander allowed three runs and eight hits, walking three."I felt good and strong," Liriano said. "I was overthrowing my slider, went to the fastball and threw strikes."The Twins' Jim Thome broke a 2-2 tie with a 425-foot line drive over the centerfield wall off David Huff (1-4) with two outs in the fifth inning. The 39-year-old slugger, who hit his first 334 homers for Cleveland, tied Rafael Palmeiro for 11th on the career list with 569."It's always special to come back here and do that," Thome said.Young followed the homer with a drive into the left-field seats for a 4-2 lead, and the first-place Twins went on to take two of three in the series. Cleveland has gone 1-2 in four successive series since winning three straight from the Chicago White Sox on April 16-18."We've been relying way too much on our pitching," Acta said. "You're going to need overpowering pitching to win with three runs."Cleveland didn't get if from Huff, who gave up a two-run homer to Orlando Hudson in the first inning. Right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo saved another run when he threw out Justin Morneau trying to score from second."David didn't have command at all," Acta said. "He threw a lot of balls right down the middle of the plate and they really hurt him."Cleveland tied it in the bottom half when Liriano walked two, made an error and committed a balk. It began with Asdrubal Cabrera's single off Lirano's leg, and he went all the way to third when the pitcher threw wildly. Cabrera eventually scored on a groundout. Later in the inning, Liriano balked home a run before getting Mark Grudzielanek to hit into a double play.Liriano got out of a jam in the fifth when Matt LaPorta grounded into a double play.A good relay throw from Hudson at second base kept Cleveland from tying it in the fifth. With runners on first and third and two outs, Austin Kearns doubled to right to make it 4-3. Sizemore tried to score from first, but Hudson took the throw from right-fielder Michael Cuddyer and pegged a one-hop strike to Ramos at the plate.Nick Punto had a two-run single in the seventh and the Twins added two runs in the ninth.
Twins C Joe Mauer missed his second game with a bruised left heel. Manager Ron Gardenire said he'll give the reigning AL MVP as much time as necessary to heal. ... The Twins placed RHP Pat Neshek on the DL with inflammation in his right middle finger and called up Ramos from Triple-A Rochester. ... Cabrera is 7 of 12 (.583) in his career off Liriano. ... Cleveland closer Kerry Wood is expected to go on a rehab assignment Monday at Double-A Akron. The right-hander has been out since mid-March with a strained muscle in his upper right back. ... Kearns is 14 for 34 with 11 RBIs over his last eight games.