The Guardians weren’t able to match the 17 runs they scored when Cal Quantrill last faced the Royals, but Cleveland provided their starting pitcher with ample run support Tuesday night, scoring early and often en route to an 8-3 win over Kansas City.
After Quantrill pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, the Guardians went to work immediately against Royals starting pitcher Daniel Lynch. Amed Rosario got things started with a one-out triple. Kansas City proceeded to take the bat out of Jose Ramirez’s hand with an intentional walk, though Owen Miller delivered an RBI groundout to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Oscar Gonzalez reached on an infield to single to put runner on first and third. Back-to-back RBI singles from Ernie Clement and Andres Gimenez extended the Guardians’ lead to 3-0.
But the Royals looked to erase the early deficit, cutting it to 3-1 in the second inning after Hunter Dozier doubled off the wall with two outs and came around to score on a Jason Isbel RBI single up the middle. In the third inning, Quantrill surrendered a leadoff double to Nicky Lopez, allowing him to score on a one-out RBI single by Andrew Benintendi. After Quantrill hit Bobby Witt Jr. with a pitch and struck out Salvador Perez, M.J. Melendez lined a single to right field. Benintendi tried to score from second base and tie the game but Oscar Gonzalez fired home, where Austin Hedges tagged out Benintendi to end the inning and preserve Cleveland’s one-run lead.
Perhaps riding high from that play at the plate, Hedges delivered a three-run homer to the porch in left field the very next inning, affording the Guardians more breathing room with a 6-2 lead. The team’s final two runs would come courtesy of Gonzalez in the sixth inning, when he lined an RBI double into the gap in left-center to score Jose Ramirez and Owen Miller.
After getting knocked around a bit in the second and third innings, Quantrill settled in from there, giving up six hits and three earned runs and striking out five over 6.1 innings of work. He relied heavily on his sinker and cutter, the latter of which the Royals weren’t able to barrel up at all. Poor contact was the story of the game for the Kansas City lineup, as they only whiffed on five total pitches from Quantrill but only collected six hits against him.
Rookie right fielder Oscar Gonzalez, who entered the game slashing .438/.438/.563 through the first 16 plate appearances of his big league career, continues to produce at the plate, collecting two hits against the Royals and driving in a pair of runs.