Family reunion inspires Sox's Ramirez

Alexei Ramirez has been one of the White Sox's hottest hitters in recent days. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez found out that his parents would be defecting from Cuba to Chicago just as the White Sox embarked on their recent seven-game road trip. They reunited upon his return on Sunday, got to see him play in person on Tuesday and Ramirez’s father, Armando, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Wednesday.

To say it’s been a whirlwind week for Ramirez would be an understatement. Since he arrived in the States for the 2008 season, the 30-year-old shortstop has tried to get his parents to the United States.

On Friday, Ramirez described having his parents here as being a huge weight lifted off his shoulders, so much so that it’s had a positive impact on his on-field production; the shortstop has been one of the White Sox’s hottest hitters the past two weeks.

“It’s something that’s been an empty void for me the last five years, not having them here, and having them here now gives me more motivation, even playing now,” Ramirez said through White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. “So I get a lot of inspiration and motivation from them.”

Ramirez is hitting .403 (27-for-67) in his past 18 games, which has raised his average from .215 to .256. He matched a career-high with four hits and a season-high of three RBIs against the Yankees on June 29. On this current home stand, Ramirez is hitting 6-for-13 with a pair of doubles, four RBIs and two runs.

All of this has come after Ramirez began the season with a .207 batting average in April and .245 average in May. Ramirez said he cannot attribute his recent string of hot hitting to anything in particular.

“I haven’t changed anything,” he said. “It’s one of those things where I’ve made contact with the ball and fortunately for me the defense is not where the balls are rolling, so it’s been good.”