The Cleveland Guardians are not a power-laden team. They don’t hit a ton of home runs. What they do is battle, hit a lot of singles and put pressure on opposing teams on the bases.
The Guardians recorded a come-from-behind, 6-5 win over the visiting Detroit Tigers on Friday, giving Cleveland two victories to open the four-game series.
The set continues Saturday with the Guardians’ Cal Quantrill (5-5, 3.99 ERA) opposing the Tigers’ Michael Pineda (2-4, 3.58) in a matchup of right-handers.
Quantrill is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA in six career appearances (three starts) against the Tigers. He lost at Detroit on July 5 after giving up six runs, three earned, on eight hits in four innings.
Pineda is 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA in six career outings (five starts) against the Guardians, 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one relief appearance in Cleveland. He beat the visiting Guardians on July 6, when he yielded two runs on five hits in five innings.
Cleveland rallied for two runs in the seventh inning on Friday for the victory. All-Star Andres Gimenez, who drove in Steven Kwan with the decisive run on a two-out single, continues to hit in the clutch.
Gimenez is batting .384 (28-for-73) with runners in scoring position this year. He’s hitting .429 (15-for-35) with two outs and runners in scoring position. Of his 43 RBIs this season, 23 have come with two outs.
He leads the team with a .299 average.
“I have to stay focused for every at-bat,” Gimenez said through an interpreter after Friday’s game on Bally Sports Great Lakes.
He’ll be heading to Los Angeles for All-Star festivities after Sunday’s game. Gimenez isn’t thinking about it just yet.
“I’m focused on tomorrow and Sunday,” he said.
Gimenez was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run on Friday. Catcher Austin Hedges went 2-for-4 with an RBI and made a big catch to end the Tigers’ four-run rally in the fourth inning. He caught a popup from Victor Reyes one step into the dugout, which was discussed at length by the umpiring crew.
Detroit’s Riley Greene hit a solo homer in the third and added a two-run double in the fourth. The rookie center fielder struck out in all four at-bats on Thursday.
“One thing I appreciate about Riley Greene,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said, “the day after the four-punchout performance he was just the same as he was after he hit the walk-off homer (earlier in the season). That’s not easy to do at that age (21), at this level with so many expectations on him. It’s a tribute to his character.”
The Tigers, who have lost seven of their past eight games, also got three hits from Harold Castro.
Besides timing hitting in the seventh, what won the game for Cleveland was its bullpen. Four relievers combined for 5 1/3 innings and allowed two hits, no runs and no walks. They struck out four. Bryan Shaw pitched two shutout innings for the win; Trevor Stephan tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save.
–Field Level Media