Steven Kwan and Andrés Giménez launched solo home runs and Josh Naylor chipped in a two-run double to lift the Cleveland Guardians past the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 4-1. The victory completes a weekend sweep of the once-division-leading Twins.
Bieber entered the fifth inning having allowed two total baserunners. Then, Nick Gordon slugged a lead-off double. A strikeout and a groundout followed, the latter allowing Gordon to advance to third. He scampered home when Gary Sánchez pulled this nonsense:
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a batted ball hit the bag. Four of them were this season!
No more intervention, divine or otherwise, further blotted Bieber’s record. He finished the game with 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. It took a little bit of help from his friends, though.
Sam Hentges answered the call in the seventh inning. Upon arrival, runners stood at first and third threatening Bieber’s ERA and the Guardians’ lead. A six-pitch battle with Jermaine Palacios ended with a lineout, then Hentges struck out Sánchez on three pitches. If the entire season is considered, this was likely one of the higher-leverage situations for the Guardians this year. Hentges did not flinch.
He also retired the first batter in the eighth before Trevor Stephan downed two more on five pitches. Karinchak added suspense by walking two in the bottom of the ninth, but in his typical fashion he also struck out the side to win the game.
- Owen Miller’s defense at first base invites complaints so it is worth celebrating the excellent pick he made in the eighth. Amed Rosario nearly suffered from a one-cent throw after his million dollar play up the middle, but Miller’s quick reaction locked in the out.
- Myles Straw’s offense invites complaints so it is paramount to celebrate his three-hit afternoon.
- José Ramírez slugged his 40th double. It is unlikely that he’ll mash another fourteen bombs and reach the 40-40 plateau, but 30-40 seasons are cool, too.
- It could have been an absolute blowout. The Guardians went 1-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded twelve runners overall.
Josh Naylor’s double in the ninth inning should probably be revised to an error.
He put the ball in play and two runs scored so this is not at all a complaint about Naylor. I just... don’t let those defenders off the hook! Because they did not each receive an error on this play, I think we should all watch it loop about ten more times while chuckling. Sensibly, of course.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim send Reid Detmers to the mound to duel Konnor Pilkington. Weapon of choice is likely to be a baseball for each, but we’ll see.