Don’t look now, but the Guardians are streaking. The Cleveland Guardians won their sixth straight game Friday night, clobbering the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-0, north of the border.
A Canada native, Cal Quantrill must have felt right at home in Toronto, cruising through seven shutout innings in his best start of the season. He retired 21 of the 22 batters he faced and tied a season-high with seven strikeouts. The only Blue Jay to reach base against him was Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was left stranded at second base after hitting a double in the fourth inning.
Quantrill has not surrendered a run in 15 consecutive innings now.
But he wasn’t the only Canuck who had a good night for the Guardians. Josh Naylor’s two-run home run capped a five-run third inning to give Cleveland a commanding lead.
Toronto starting pitcher José Berríos did not fare well in his last start against the Guardians, getting knocked around for six earned runs back on June 5. It was more of the same Friday night.
It all started when Berríos hit Austin Hedges with a pitch with one out in the third inning. Will Benson followed with a single, and then Steven Kwan loaded the bases with one of the most beautiful bunts I’ve ever seen. Berríos and third baseman Matt Chapman watched it run parallel to the foul line until it reached the bag at third base. Amed Rosario proceeded to break the game open with an RBI single up the middle, scoring a pair. José Ramírez delivered a sac fly to center field, teeing up Naylor’s two-run shot to make it a 5-0 lead for the Guardians.
Ramírez put the game firmly out of each in the fourth inning with a three-run homer off Berríos, who would exit after four innings having surrendered eight hits, two walks, and eight earned runs.
In addition to his perfect bunt, Steven Kwan also made an outstanding play in the first inning, robbing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of a leadoff double with a catch near the warning track.