Colorado manager Bud Black made the bold decision to pitch to José Ramírez with first base open and a runner on second in the tenth inning. It was not a decision that worked out well for him, as Ramírez drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI double to right field to lead the Cleveland Guardians past the Rockies in extra innings, 4-3.
Not only does José Ramírez put the @CleGuardians on top in the 10th, but he also sets a new franchise record for most extra-base hits (38) through the first 56 games of a season!#ForTheLand | #VoteGuards pic.twitter.com/36kol1adw5— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) June 15, 2022
The Rockies were on the verge of pulling even again in the bottom of the tenth inning, but a baserunning blunder by Charlie Blackmon doomed them. With Emmanuel Clase on the mound, Yonathan Daza snuck a one-hopper over the glove of Andres Gimenez at second base, putting runners on first and third with no one out. Blackmon was on third and broke for home when Brendan Rodgers dropped a dribbler in front of Clase, who tossed the ball to Austin Hedges. Blackmon started retreating back to third but Hedges dropped the ball and lost it momentarily, leading Blackmon to try for home again. But Hedges recovered the ball in time to trap Blackmon in a rundown, allowing Ramírez to tag him for the first out of the inning.
C.J. Cron then grounded into a double play to end the game.
Cleveland led for most of the game. The Guardians broke through against Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela in the second inning. After Steven Kwan reached on an infield single, Amed Rosario crushed a two-out double to center field — with an exit velocity of 115.8 mph, the highest ever recorded by a Cleveland hitter in the Statcast era — to put runners on second and third. José Ramírez lined an opposite field single to left, scoring both Kwan and Rosario to pad his league-leading RBI total for the season and give the Guardians a 2-0 lead.
The Rockies managed to cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a two-out RBI triple by C.J. Cron, but Cleveland restored their two-run lead in the sixth inning. Ramírez drew a leadoff walk and then did what he does on the basepaths, creating scoring opportunities with his baserunning. He stole second and advanced to third on errant throw, scoring on a one-out RBI single that Josh Naylor was able to squeeze through the right side of the infield.
Unfortunately, the lead would not last. Shane Bieber entered the seventh inning having given up six hits and one walk up to that point, only surrendering one run over the first six frames. With his pitch count climbing towards the century mark, he came within an out of escaping the seventh inning unscathed, but instead served up a two-out, two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon to tie the game. The inning nearly ended one batter early on a groundball to first base, but Naylor was not able to make the throw to second to complete the double play.
Cleveland had a chance to regain the lead in the ninth inning after Andrés Giménez and Steven Kwan reached on back-to-back singles, but the Guardians wasted no time in squandering the opportunity. Austin Hedges tried to lay down a bunt but fouled out to the catcher instead. Myles Straw struck out on four pitches and then Rosario rolled over on the first pitch he saw, grounding out to the pitcher and leaving both runners stranded.
On to extras we went, where Ramírez took care of business.