The Cleveland Guardians didn’t give a sold-out crowd at Progressive Field much to cheer about Friday night, dropping their home opener in a 4-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodón certainly did his part to silence the Guardians’ bats and keep the home crowd quiet. He wasn’t able to reproduce the no-hitter he pitched against Cleveland at this time last year, but he was no less dominant. Rodón painted the strike zone with his four-seam fastball and kept hitters off balance with his slider and curveball.
He only needed 24 pitches the first time through the order, and all the Guardians could muster through the first six innings was one hit and one walk. They finally managed to break through against Rodón in the seventh, with José Ramírez drawing a leadoff walk before advancing to third on an opposite field single by Franmil Reyes. Amed Rosario struck out on three pitches, but Owen Miller was able to score Ramírez on a sac fly to right center field.
Speaking of Miller, he was responsible for Cleveland’s first hit of the game, lining his league-leading sixth double off the wall in left field in the second inning.
Steven Kwan was 0-for-3 but reached base in the second inning when he was struck in the head by a curveball. He was evaluated by a trainer and remained in the game.
On the mound for the Guardians, Zach Plesac wasn’t nearly as dominant as his counterpart. The Giants made good contact against him, racking up seven hits over 5.1 innings of work. But he only allowed two runs, courtesy of solo home runs by Brandon Crawford and Joc Pederson.
San Francisco broke the game open in the eighth inning thanks in part to an unforced error by José Ramírez. With one out and Anthony Castro on the mound, Thairo Estrada sent a grounder to third base, where Ramírez proceeded to airmail the throw to first. Steven Duggar then flied out to left field, but Joey Bart used the extra out to turn the Giants’ 2-1 lead into a 4-1 lead. He caught a hanging slider and smacked it to the railing above the wall in left field for a two-run homer.