Guardians win fifth straight, topple Tigers in 10
DETROIT — Rookie Oscar Gonzalez knocked in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 10th inning and the Cleveland Guardians extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Thursday.
Gonzalez’s hit off Gregory Soto (2-7) allowed the Guardians to escape after they squandered a two-run lead in the ninth. Cleveland is 9-2 in extra innings.
“We have a lot of guys in our lineup that are very good at getting guys over, getting guys in,” reliever Bryan Shaw said. “We’re not a team that’s hitting all the home runs. We get base hit after base hit. We do the little things on offense to get guys in. You put a guy on second and we’re really good at getting that guy in.”
Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan opened the ninth by allowing a walk, a single and Jonathan Schoop’s RBI double that got Detroit within 3-2. Enyel De Los Santos (3-0) came in with one out and gave up Eric Haase’s tying fielder’s-choice grounder.
Shaw worked the 10th for his first save of the season.
The AL Central-leading Guardians increased their lead over idle Minnesota to 1 1/2 games.
Cleveland starter Zach Plesac limited Detroit to one run and four hits while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
“This is real right now. We have a lot going on right now, you can tell,” Plesac said. “We have a winning streak — the guys know how to win and we’re playing together and finally hitting. Seems like everything is coming together right now.”
The Guardians’ staff has posted four quality starts during the streak.
“You have all these guys just getting better and better as they get older and more mature,” Shaw said. “With more games under their belt, they’re learning how to pitch, they’re learning how to attack guys and learning how to manage games. It’s great to watch.”
Rookie Steven Kwan hit a solo homer and Andres Gimenez scored two of Cleveland’s runs.
Javier Baez hit his team-leading 11th homer for the Tigers but also committed two errors at shortstop. Willi Castro had three hits and scored a run.
Detroit starter Garrett Hill allowed three runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings.
The Tigers have lost four straight and 10 of 12. Their batters struck out 14 times, compared to two by the Guardians.
“You’ve got to get the ball in play,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “If you watch the two teams in the games that are close, it’s just a lot more pressure when you put the ball in play. We didn’t put as much pressure on them as they put on us.”
A throwing error by Baez allowed Cleveland to score its first run during the second inning.
The Guardians got another unearned run in the fourth after an error by third baseman Willi Castro. Luke Maile drove in Gimenez with a two-out single.
Kwan hit his third homer this season to lead off the fifth. Detroit broke through on Baez’s two-out homer in the sixth.
Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (Achilles strain) had two hits and two RBIs in six at-bats while beginning a rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. He’s expected to continue the rehab assignment for at least a week. … RHP Michael Pineda (right triceps tendinitis) will begin a rehab assignment at Toledo.
Guardians: RHP Peyton Battenfield will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus and RHP James Karinchak will be placed on the restricted list. Karinchak cannot travel to Toronto for this weekend’s series because he is unvaccinated.
Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Toronto on Friday. Quantrill tossed six scoreless innings against Houston on Saturday while notching his fourth victory in his last six starts.
Tigers: Norris (0-4, 6.90 ERA) will start Friday’s series opener at the White Sox. He has made two starts for Toledo since being signed to a minor league contract, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He has a career 4.59 ERA in 139 games (77 starts) with Detroit.