CLEVELAND — About 11:05 a.m. Wednesday, Indians manager Terry Francona was being asked about Jose Ramirez's slow start to the season.

Francona spoke about how Ramirez had yet to show the type of consistency he normally has in the past, and how the team needed to be patient even when it was difficult to do so. He also offered reassurance.

"I'm telling you, he's going to be fine," Francona said.

Roughly two hours later, Ramirez crushed the first pitch he saw for a home run and went on to help power the Indians' offense in a 6-2 win over the Miami Marlins.

Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara left a sinker down the middle of the plate, and Ramirez turned on it for his second homer of the season. Two innings later, Ramirez singled up the middle to score Leonys Martin, who had singled and advanced to second on an error, to put the Indians ahead 2-0.

Ramirez wasn't done.

The Indians (13-10) entered the bottom of the eighth in a 2-2 tie after the Marlins (7-17) chipped away at the lead. With two runners on, Jake Bauers poked a single through the left side of the infield to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. Francisco Lindor added a bloop single to make it 4-2.

Martin was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Ramirez, who delivered a two-run double to make it 6-2. Ramirez finished 3-for-4 with four RBI and was a triple short of the cycle.

"I always stay confident," Ramirez said through a team translator. "I understand baseball is ups and downs and I can only worry about what I can control, which is to play hard, and that's what I do: go out and play hard every time."

It was enough to single-handedly support starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez, who was making his second start in place of Mike Clevinger. Rodriguez again offered a solid outing, allowing just one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. In his two starts with the Indians, he has a 2.13 ERA.

"It’s easy to see the glass being kind of half full with him," Francona said. "The two times he’s pitched here, he’s really pounded the zone really well. In Kansas City [during his first start], I think I remember saying on some nights we’d be talking about how he pitched so well, but we didn’t score. So, he’s really encouraging. His development is fun to watch."

Rodriguez wasn't credited with the win, though, after Nick Wittgren allowed a solo home run to Martin Prado that tied it 2-2 in the top of the eighth. It was the first earned run Wittgren had allowed this season.

Bauers, Lindor and then Ramirez all delivered in the bottom half of the inning, though, before Brad Hand finished it in the ninth.

After the game, Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Columbus since the Indians won't need a fifth starter again until May 7. He's done well to warrant another call-up when that time comes.

“I know it’s out of my hands and I just keep putting in the work and they will have to make the decision," Rodriguez said through a team translator. "But so far, just feeling great with what I’m doing.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.