Perhaps it wasn’t just a coincidence.
“It’s nice to see him in his old form, driving in runs,” Cody Ross(notes), who had two RBIs, said of Ramirez. “That’s a big boost for our team. He’s our leader, and when we see him do that we just follow suit.”
After sitting out Sunday’s game with a tight right hamstring, Ramirez marked his return with his first three-hit game since May 19. He has three RBIs in each of his last two starts.
“The trainers did an unbelievable job,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I thought we were going to miss him for a while. An off day (Monday) got him going again.”
Did it ever. Not only did Ramirez get three hits, but he stole a base and was flawless in the field at shortstop.
“This guy can take over a game—defensively, offensively, baserunning— all aspects,” Gonzalez said.
Ramirez spurned reporters after the game, but his bat made plenty of noise in yet another Florida win over Baltimore. The Marlins are 17-5 against the Orioles in interleague play, including 9-1 since 2000.
Florida (34-36) is riding its first two-game winning streak since June 10-11.
“We’re not necessarily concerned with the .500 mark because once we do get back to it we need to keep going,” second baseman Dan Uggla(notes) said. “Right now we’re all about winning and coming together as a team. We can’t waste any more time. We have to make a move.”
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (3-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in 6-plus innings to lose his fifth straight start. Guthrie issued two walks, to the leadoff hitter in the second and seventh innings, and both came around to score.
“For some reason, Guthrie didn’t look right. He was missing his spots,” interim manager Juan Samuel said. “Couple pitches, some good hitters with two strikes on them, he hung some breaking balls and got hurt.”
The game was tight until the seventh, when the Marlins scored two runs to take a 6-3 lead. After Coghlan walked and Gaby Sanchez(notes) chased Guthrie with an RBI double, Ramirez greeted Jason Berken(notes) with a run-scoring single.
In the bottom half, the Orioles got two runners on for pinch-hitter Jake Fox(notes), who was obtained in a trade with Oakland earlier in the day. Fox hit a drive to center that Ross snagged on the warning track.
Florida batted around in a four-run second inning that featured four hits, a walk and a hit batter. Helms and Coghlan delivered RBI singles before Ramirez hit a two-out, two-run double.
Both pitchers settled down after that. Guthrie faced one over the minimum over the next four innings and Sanchez kept the Orioles at bay despite allowing a one-out double to Nick Markakis(notes) in the sixth.
“I thought my location was better later in the game. I made terrible pitches with the slider, especially in the inning that hurt me,” Guthrie said. “Pitch execution was definitely the biggest difference between the second and the other innings.”
NOTES: Orioles rookie Brian Matusz(notes) will attempt to end a run of 11 straight winless starts Wednesday. … Coghlan has a hit in 17 of his last 20 games, raising his batting average 64 points to .274. … Baltimore fell to 3-10 in interleague play; Florida is 6-7.