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José Ramírez’s three-run homer sparks Guardians in 6-3 win over Royals

Aaron Civale was solid over six innings of work

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Guardians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

José Ramírez launched a three-run homer in the sixth inning as part of a five-run outburst, sending the Cleveland Guardians to a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Against Kansas City starting pitcher Brady Singer, the Guardians’ offense was quiet until the fifth inning. Singer retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced before giving up a leadoff single to Andres Gimenez in the fifth. Gimenez came around to score on a Will Brennan RBI single, getting Cleveland on the scoreboard. But the real damage was done in the sixth.

Steven Kwan started the inning with a leadoff single, and Gabriel Arias followed by reaching on a bunt single, inadvertently stepping on the glove of the first baseman and knocking the ball loose on an awkward play by Vinnie Pasquantino. Singer threw four straight sliders to Ramírez and he turned the fourth one into a three-run blast into the seats in right field, giving the Guardians a 4-3 lead. Cleveland tacked on a pair of insurance runs later in the inning thanks to back-to-back RBI singles by Austin Hedges and Myles Straw, both of which came with two outs.

The Guardians had to play from behind after starter Aaron Civale surrendered a two-run homer to Drew Waters on a cutter that found the heart of the plate in the third inning. Another cutter cost Civale a run in the fifth inning, serving up a solo shot to Michael Massey to make it a 3-0 lead for the Royals. But to his credit, those two home runs were the only mistakes Civale made over six innings, giving up only thee hits and no walks while striking out five.

Cody Morris bridged the gap between Civale and Emmanuel Clase, pitching a pair of scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth. Clase recorded his 40th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, becoming the sixth player in franchise history to record at least 40 saves in a season.