White Sox hit 4 straight HRs vs Cardinals reliever in debut

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St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Roel Ramirez, bottom, returns to the mound after giving up a home run to Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu, top, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox tied a major league record with four consecutive home runs, all against reliever Roel Ramirez in his major league debut, and went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Sunday.

Ramirez is the first pitcher to allow four straight homers in his debut. Yoán Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez connected during a six-run fifth inning.

Ramirez took the mound in the fifth with Chicago leading 1-0. He struck out Luis Robert to start, but things went south quickly. After two singles, a caught stealing and a walk, Moncada smacked a three-run homer to right.

Grandal followed with another drive into the right-field seats, and then Abreu and Jimenez each homered to left.

Manager Mike Shildt replaced Ramirez with Seth Elledge, and he struck out Edwin Encarnacion on three straight pitches to end the inning.

Ramirez is among the players promoted by the Cardinals following a COVID-19 outbreak that stalled St. Louis’ season for 2 1/2 weeks. The club returned to action Saturday with a doubleheader sweep over Chicago.

Ramirez, a 25-year-old right-hander, split last season between Double-A and Triple-A.

It was the 10th time in major league history a team hit four straight homers. The only other time the White Sox did it was on Aug. 14, 2008 against Kansas City, when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe connected.