Guardians Split Twins With Pair Of Big Hits And McKenzie's 10 Strikeouts

Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 4: Triston McKenzie of the Cleveland Guardians pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field on June 4, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Photo: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

After dropping a pair of one-run games to open their series against the Minnesota Twins, the Cleveland Guardians earned a much-needed split with this afternoon's 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins, a day after winning 4-2. The Guardians improve to 12-16 in one-run games - the second most such victories behind the Miami Marlins. Starter Triston McKenzie dominated in his season debut after returning from a shoulder injury. He struck out ten batters, walked one, and allowed one hit in five shut out innings.

On the other side, the Guardians lineup struggled through 6 2/3 innings against Twins' starter Joe Ryan, but broke through with two outs in the seventh. Jose Ramirez worked a seven-pitch walk, setting the stage for a pair of RBI hits: first, Josh Naylor launched a double off of the right field wall, missing a home run by inches, but scoring Ramirez from first base. Then, after Caleb Thielbar took over for Joe Ryan, Andres Gimenez tripled off of the centerfield wall, scoring Naylor.

Meanwhile, James Karinchak and Trevor Stephan pitched an inning each and struck out two batters in the sixth and seventh, respectively. Enyel De Los Santos took over in the eighth, but allowed a leadoff solo home run to Willi Castro for the Twins to halve the Guardians' lead. After Kyle Garlick grounded out, Michael Taylor, who went three-for-three, doubled down the left field line and reach third on Jorge Polanco's ground out. However, De Los Santos forced Royce Lewis to ground out on the next pitch to end the threat.

Not many Guardians' games end without drama and the ninth inning was no stranger: Emmanuel Clase entered and quickly retired Donovan Solano and Max Kepler, but allowed the next two batters to reach base. Ryan Jeffers walked on four pitches, then Kyle Farmer singled to center; deep enough for Jeffers to reach third base. However, with the tying and winning runs on base, Clase struck out Willi Castro to earn his 19th save, and notch Cleveland the series split. James Karinchak took the win and improves to 2-4 while Joe Ryan took the loss and drops to 7-3. Guardians' pitchers struck out 16 Twins and allowed just five hits in their winning performance.

With their third straight non-losing series, the Guardians remain 3.5 games behind the Twins in the division, but lead the season series, 4-3, with six games remaining: August 28-30 in Minnesota, and September 4-6 in Cleveland. The Guardians are off tomorrow and will begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday at 7:10 PM. The Guardians lost two of three games against the Red Sox in the last meeting in late April. Shane Bieber will start for the Guardians coming off his shortest outing of the season against the Orioles on Wednesday when he allowed seven runs in four innings.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content