Owen Miller’s two-run blast capped a five-run fifth inning as the Cleveland Guardians beat the Kansas City Royals, 5-3, in the penultimate game of the regular season.
Kansas City starting pitcher Daniel Lynch was having a pleasant evening before Myles Straw reached on a bunt single to start the fifth inning. Through the previous four fames, Lynch had held the Guardians scoreless, limiting them to three hits and two walks. The Royals even handed him a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, after Nate Eaton scored from first base on a two-out bloop single that landed between Steven Kwan and a sliding Gabriel Arias near the foul line in shallow left field. But then Straw did what he did and Lynch never recovered.
After a Kwan flyout, Amed Rosario singled to put runners on first and second, before he and Straw executed a double steal to make that runners on second and third. Jose Ramirez launched a two-run double off the wall in left-center, allowing both runners to score easily and give Cleveland a 2-1 lead. Lynch managed to get to two outs thanks to an Oscar Gonzalez groundout, but Andres Gimenez’s two-out single scored Ramirez to make it 3-1. This set the stage for Owen Miller to end Lynch’s night with a two-run homer to left field. Lynch was never seen or heard from again.
On the mound for the Guardians, Cal Quantrill was solid over five innings, only giving up four hits and the aforementioned run. Zach Plesac — yes, that Zach Plesac — came out of the bullpen for the sixth inning and made quick work of Kansas City, throwing only six pitches in a scoreless inning of relief. The usual suspects followed, with Sam Hentges, James Karinchak, and Emmanuel Clase taking care of the final three frames. The Royals did manage to scrape across a pair of runs against Karinchak and Clase, though the latter’s was unearned.
Amed Rosario recorded his 17th three-hit game of the season, tying Luis Arraez for the league lead. Can he claim the lead outright in the final game of the regular season? Tune in tomorrow!