Alexei hopes second homer snaps drought

Alexei hopes second homer snaps drought

NEW YORK -- Of the four home runs hit by the White Sox in Friday night's 14-7 win over the Yankees, Alexei Ramirez's blast might have been the most important for the team. His second of the season snapped a 262-at-bat homerless streak for a player who had averaged 17 per season in his first four years.

Manager Robin Ventura pointed to June and July as the time when Ramirez usually takes off, although the shortstop also has career averages of .283 in May, .296 in June and .305 in July. Ramirez believes that one homer might start him on the road to numerous fence clearers.

"It could be a spark," Ramirez said through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. "It gives you more confidence. Right now, to be honest with you, I'm trying to get some runs in and just doing as much as I can to contribute for the team."

Ramirez does have 37 RBIs and a .362 average with runners in scoring position, and he had raised his overall average to .252 entering play on Saturday by hitting at a .438 clip over his previous 13 games. That improvement still doesn't erase the slow start for the shortstop with Gold Glove defensive ability.

"This is definitely, I would say, one of my worst years ever that I've had," Ramirez said. "They say you are going to go through bad years. This is what I'm going through. I've just got to keep pushing along and see what I can do to help team. That's the most important thing."