The Cleveland Guardians’ 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night was what you might call a “team win,” with eight different players reaching base and the bullpen stepping up to cover five innings of work en route to securing the victory.
Four of the Guardians’ six runs were scored with two outs.
With two outs in the first inning, José Ramírez and Josh Naylor reached on back-to-back infield singles, setting the table for Josh Bell’s RBI double to put the Guardians on the board. David Fry followed with an RBI infield single, making it a 2-0 lead for Cleveland.
In spite of the run support, rookie starting pitcher Gavin Williams struggled to command his four-seam fastball and labored through four innings as a result, giving up five hits and four walks. Williams loaded the bases in two separate innings and was able to escape unscathed both times. The only run the Phillies scored against him came in the third inning on a Nick Castellanos RBI groundout, scoring Trea Turner after he tripled to left-center.
With their lead cut to 2-1, the Guardians once again went to work with two outs in the fourth inning. At risk of leaving David Fry stranded after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, Gabriel Arias drew a walk and Steven Kwan stared down two sinkers before turning an 0-2 curveball at the bottom of the zone into an RBI single to right field, restoring Cleveland’s two-run lead.
David Fry’s RBI groundout in the fifth made it a three-run lead.
Eli Morgan took over for Williams in the fifth inning and pitched into the sixth, allowing a single and recording the first out before giving way to Tim Herrin. Herrin was brought into face three straight left-handers and promptly walked all three of them, the last of which was a bases loaded walk to cut the Guardians’ lead to 4-2. Nick Sandlin saved the day, striking our Trea Turner before getting Nick Castellanos to hit an inning-ending flyout.
But Sandlin went from hero to zero the very next inning.
After Amed Rosario and Josh Naylor each contributed RBI singles in the sixth to make the score 6-2 in favor of Cleveland, all margin for error evaporated when Sandlin walked Bryce Harper, surrendered a two-run homer to J.T. Realmuto, and a solo shot to Bryson Stott.
Clinging to a 6-5 lead, Guardians fans girded their loins as Trevor Stephan stepped in for Sandlin, pitching a scoreless 1.2 innings to bridge the gap to Emmanuel Clase in the ninth. Clase pitched a 1-2-3 inning to close it out for Cleveland in front of a sold-out crowd.