Cleveland Guardians — offensive juggernaut?
Tonight they looked the part, slugging nine runs against admittedly weak Angels pitching. It was their fourth game with seven or more runs scored in the last week alone, and it was enough to put them ahead early and often tonight en route to an easy victory.
Franmil Reyes got things started with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first, plating Myles Straw and Amed Rosario as the ball traveled 430 feet into the night. In general, the Guardians had no issues hitting Angels starter Jaime Barria. They racked up six hits and five runs before he was pulled ahead of the third inning.
Everyone in the lineup recorded a hit tonight, but it was the top that stole the show. The Straw-Rosario combination combined to go 5-for-10 and came around to score five times, while Reyes recorded his first multi-hit game since Aug. 4 and José Ramírez took advantage of a couple of pitches that caught a bit too much of the plate.
José also tied Rick Manning for 13th in stolen bases in franchise history when he swiped his 142nd in the fourth inning and this home run put him ahead of Sandy Alomar in the all-time hit list.
When batters were nice enough to stop hammering Angels pitchers left and right, Cleveland pitchers were able to hold Shohei Ohtani to just one hit and a strikeout in his four at-bats. The rest of the Angels lineup was equally as quiet.
Sam Hentges pitched only four innings by design, but he put up some of the best numbers of his young career: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. It was just the third time this year that he’s pitched at least four innings and held an opponent to fewer than three runs.
Trevor Stephan, Blake Parker, and Justin Garza combined to close out the final five innings and allowed just one hit. Stephan, who allowed a double in the fifth inning, held down three innings of his own and struck out (including Ohtani).
Turns out bullpen days are fun when you score nine runs and your pitchers all click.