The Cleveland Guardians defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Sunday night to win their three-game series. Los Angeles scored first after a sluggish start from Cleveland in the field.
The Guardians beat the Dodgers two out of three times and have won 15 of their last 19 games. On May 29, they were seven-and-a-half games behind Minnesota, which was in first place in the AL Central. But when they start a three-game series against the Twins on Tuesday, they will be only one game behind. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on baseball.
When the bases were loaded in the ninth inning on that Sunday game, the winning run was driven in by Andrés Giménez. On the other hand, Oscar Gonzalez struck his first home run to score the winning run.
“I don’t think we’re paying attention that much. Obviously, we got a big series coming up in the next few days,” said Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber, who contributed nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. “We’re taking advantage of the opportunities that we create and kind of see where we land.”
The Dodgers played for the third straight game without their regular right fielder, Mookie Betts. His absence was glaringly clear this time. Eddy Alvarez, who came in for Betts, had a rough day against Cleveland.
“I do hold myself accountable for a lot of the runs scored today,” Alvarez said. “I hold myself to a high standard.”
Later, he also admitted that he was solely responsible for this situation.
“I had a terrible read on the first one,” Alvarez said. “Just coming in, eyes are bobbing a lot. Thought I had it in my glove, but it didn’t stick.”
Betts was placed on the injured list on Saturday night after he fractured a rib. The former American League Most Valuable Player is expected to make a comeback in two weeks, according to manager Dave Roberts.
It will be up to people like Alvarez to keep things together until a permanent solution can be found. Instead of going smoothly against the Guardians, chaos ensued.
In the second inning, things went downhill when Alvarez made a mistake on a routine fly ball by Oscar Mercado, allowing two runs to score.
However, for the second consecutive game, Cleveland was also without AL RBI leader José Ramirez, who was sidelined by right thumb pain.
Guardians’ pitcher Eli Morgan and Emmanuel Clase shut out the Dodgers in the ninth for his 15th save.
“We’re asking a lot of these young guys. I know they get tired, but they bring it and just to hear their enthusiasm during that game, that got me going,” Guardians’ manager Terry Francona said.
Having one out in the ninth inning and a runner on first, Gonzalez reached on a walk from reliever Craig Kimbrel (0-3), and later scored on a double by Josh Naylor. Steven Kwan was purposely walked to put runners on first and second before Gimenez hit the ball up the seam with the Los Angeles playfield drawn in.
Ernie Clement had double hits, drove in Naylor with a sacrifice fly, giving the team an extra run.
Cleveland took an early 1-0 lead, but Gavin Lux’s RBI double in the second inning for the Dodgers tied the game. Freeman started the third with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to right.
In the sixth inning, Gonzalez knotted the score at two when he hit the center off a low slider from Andrew Heaney. Since his big league debut on May 26, Gonzalez has hit safely in 18 of 22 games.
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