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Guardians win fifth straight behind Oscar Gonzalez’s two-run blast

Kirk McCarty delivered out of the Cleveland bullpen

Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Oscar Gonzalez drilled a two-run home run to the porch in left field to give the Cleveland Guardians a lead they would never relinquish in a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

With the scored tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning, José Ramírez doubled into the corner in left field, setting the stage for Gonzalez to turn an 0-2 slider into a two-run go-ahead blast.

Up to that point, the Guardians had struggled to do much damage against Angels left-hander José Suarez. After he held them scoreless over the first four frames, Cleveland managed to finally scratch across a run in the fifth inning. Owen Miller delivered a leadoff single to get it started, advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Tyler Freeman moved him over to third on a flyout, before Luke Maile delivered the sac fly to bring Miller home.

But much of the credit for the win belongs to Cody Morris and Kirk McCarty.

Morris didn’t have the best command of his fastball, often missing up and out of the strike zone. As a result, he walked five batters over 3.2 innings. But the only run Los Angeles scored against him was a solo home run by Matt Thaiss in the third inning. McCarty took over for the final out of the fourth inning before holding the Angels scoreless through the next three innings, retiring the final eight batters he faced and helping preserve the Guardians’ bullpen.

James Karinchak took care of the eighth inning, giving way to Emmanuel Clase in the ninth.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Steven Kwan’s swinging bunt in the fifth inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Kwan sent a dribbler up the third base line. The Angels watched it roll, hoping it would roll foul. But the ball actually came to a stop on the chalk line, giving Kwan an infield single.