Steven Kwan’s big night put him with select company in Cleveland’s record book.
Kwan became the second player in franchise history with five RBI in either of the first two games of the season, and the Guardians took advantage of three errors by Seattle in a 9-4 win over the Mariners on Friday night.
Kwan had a two-run double and two-run single to go along with a sacrifice fly, and the Guardians rebounded with 13 hits after getting shut out by Seattle on opening day. Larry Doby in 1953 was the only other player in Cleveland’s history to have five RBI in one of the first two games.
Kwan’s soft double in the fourth inning that barely landed fair ended the night for Seattle starter Robbie Ray and gave Cleveland a 5-3 lead. Ray (0-1) produced a dud of a debut to this season after he looked impressive in spring training, walking five and recording just 10 outs in his 91 pitches.
Kwan followed an inning later with a two-out, two-run single on a 3-2 pitch from Trevor Gott. Cleveland also capitalized on a combination of bad luck and bad defense by Seattle that led to five unearned runs.
The Guardians’ first two runs scored when Teoscar Hernández’s throw from right field clipped Mike Zunino as he returned to first base and created chaos. The ricochet sent the ball offline toward the Cleveland dugout and allowed Oscar Gonzalez to tag up and score from third. Ray was first to the loose ball, but his throw to the plate to get Gonzalez was wide of catcher Cal Raleigh and rolled to the Seattle dugout, allowing Andrés Giménez to score from second base.
In the fifth inning, Kolten Wong dropped the feed from shortstop J.P. Crawford at second base on a potential inning-ending double play. Cleveland went on to score three unearned runs in the inning, including Kwan’s single and an RBI single from Amed Rosario.
Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodríguez led off with a double, his first hit of the year. He added an RBI double in the fourth off Kwan’s glove in left field. Raleigh also had a two-run double, but Seattle was held scoreless by Cleveland’s bullpen.
Nick Sandlin (1-0), Eli Morgan, Enyel De Los Santos, Trevor Stephan and Emmanuel Clase combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with eight strikeouts.