CLEVELAND (AP)Amed Rosario homered early and singled in the winning run in the 11th inning for his third hit of the game as the Cleveland Guardians beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 on Monday night.
Rosario hit a line drive past a diving Christian Walker at first base and into right field to score rookie Will Benson from third, setting off a celebration behind the mound.
The Guardians trail first-place Minnesota by just a game in the AL Central despite being the youngest team in baseball.
”I’m not sure they check your age when you’re in the batter’s box in the 10th inning,” manager Terry Francona said.
Rosario, who launched a two-run homer in the third, lined a 1-0 pitch from Mark Melancon (3-10), the Diamondbacks’ 10th pitcher. Benson began the inning as the automatic runner at second and moved to third on Austin Hedges’ bunt.
Steven Kwan walked and stole second, but Myles Straw grounded out before Rosario gave Cleveland its fifth walk-off win of the season.
Rosario said there’s a sense of excitement in Cleveland’s dugout late in close games.
”You’re always going to have that vibe with that energy,” he said through a translator. ”It’s easier to play with that energy.”
Arizona advanced a runner to third with one out in the 11th, but Sam Hentges (3-2) retired Jake McCarthy on a lineout, and pinch-hitter Buddy Kennedy struck out.
The Diamondbacks pushed across the go-ahead run in the 10th when Ketel Marte hit into a double play, but Andres Gimenez tied it with an RBI single – his fourth hit to go along with a career-high three stolen bases.
The ball was flying out of Progressive Field early on an 84-degree night. Daulton Varsho’s solo home run put Arizona ahead in the second, but Owen Miller’s two-run shot gave Cleveland the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Rosario hit a two-run homer in the third, but Walker’s three-run drive in the fourth off Cal Quantrill erased a 4-1 deficit.
Zach Davies allowed both Cleveland home runs in his first start since June 25. The right-hander was on the injured list with shoulder inflammation and was activated before the game. Davies was pulled after Rosario’s homer in the third and charged with four runs.
Quantrill allowed four runs in six innings.
Kwan had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 15 games in his rookie season.
Arizona reliever Kevin Ginkel, selected from Triple-A Reno on Monday, struck out the side in the fourth and missed an immaculate inning by one pitch. Nolan Jones and Hedges each struck out on three pitches. Straw fouled off an 0-2 pitch before taking a called strike three.
ON THE MOVE?
Guardians designated hitter Franmil Reyes, mired in a season-long slump, cleaned out his locker following the game. Reyes has two minor league options remaining and has been mentioned in trade talks.
Reyes began the season as the cleanup hitter but is batting .213 with nine homers and 28 RBIs. Cleveland outfielder Oscar Gonzalez has been out since June 30 with a right intercostal strain and is expected to return soon.
Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor returned after missing two games because of numbness in his surgically repaired right ankle. He tested his ankle and was cleared by the team’s medical staff to play Monday. Naylor has also been dealing with a sore back.
”He went out and ran and did everything,” Francona said. ”I told him, `I want you to play, you’ve got to be OK’d.’ So, they did OK it.”
Benson was in line at a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday when he got a phone call informing him he was being promoted to Cleveland from Triple-A Columbus.
”I was in Taco Bell because my girl wanted Taco Bell,” Benson said. ”But it all worked out perfect because the Taco Bell was pretty close to the Omni hotel where my parents were staying so I was able to drive back and tell my parents. It was crazy. We literally went crazy in valet, just jumping around, screaming.”
Benson made his major league debut in right field in the ninth inning.
Diamondbacks: LHP Caleb Smith was placed on the 15-day injured list with a fracture of his non-pitching hand. The injury occurred after he was removed from Saturday’s game against Atlanta. ”Caleb broke his hand by punching something that he shouldn’t have been punching,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
Guardians: Miller was removed from Saturday’s game after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch and didn’t play Sunday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (5-2, 3.24 ERA) will make his first career start against Cleveland in the second game of the series Tuesday night. He’s allowed three earned runs over 18 2/3 innings in his last three starts.
Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (7-7, 3.24 ERA) gave up a three-run homer to Xander Bogaerts and lost to the Red Sox on Thursday.
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