Owen Miller lined a two-run single into left field to spark a four-run outburst in the third inning and give the Cleveland Guardians a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
The Rangers struck first with back-to-back singles off Cleveland starting pitcher Cal Quantrill in the first inning, pulling ahead 1-0 on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Adolis Garcia. The Guardians evened things up in the second inning courtesy of a bases loaded sac fly by Steven Kwan.
Cleveland did most of their damage against Texas starting pitcher Jon Gray in the third inning. Myles Straw walked to open the inning and then went from first to third base on an Amed Rosario single. Gray managed to strike out Jose Ramirez, though Rosario was able to steal to second. Owen Miller lined a first-pitch curveball into left field, allowing both Straw and Rosario to score and give the Guardians a 3-1 lead. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Josh Naylor and Oscar Gonzalez — both of which came against a slider from Gray — made it 5-1 in favor of the home team.
Quantrill had a solid if unspectacular outing. He gave up eight hits and one walk, but only allowed three runs to score in seven innings of work. After the Rangers took their early lead in the first inning, Quantrill held serve until the seventh inning, when he served up solo home runs to Steele Walker and Marcus Semien to cut Cleveland’s lead down to 5-3. The Rangers frequently made hard contact against him, but fortunately he was able to limit the damage.
The Guardians’ sixth run of the game was the result of savvy baserunning by Oscar Mercado in the seventh inning. After Oscar Gonzalez was able to reach base with two outs thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Andy Ibanez, Mercado took over as pinch runner and promptly stole second. Andres Gimenez grounded a ball up the middle to Semien but he booted the ball. Mercado never stopped running and Semien didn’t realize he was going home until it was too late.
Eli Morgan continued his dominant stretch, notching his ninth consecutive scoreless relief appearance, though this was his first outing without at least one strikeout this season. He is human, after all. Emmanuel Clase pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close it out.