Steven Kwan drove in Ramón Laureano three batters after Tyler Freeman’s tying single in the eighth inning, rallying the Cleveland Guardians to a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night. The Rangers, who remain in the second AL wild-card position, dropped their second straight in the series. They entered the day a half-game behind first-place Houston and one game ahead of third-place Seattle in the AL West.
Laureano doubled and Bo Naylor walked against Will Smith (2-6), then came around on singles by Freeman and Kwan off José Leclerc. Cleveland had stranded 10 baserunners through the first seven innings, including seven in the first three against Dane Dunning.
Reynaldo López (3-7) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth for the Guardians, and Emmanuel Clase worked the ninth for his major league-best 41st save. Guardians starter Tanner Bibee left in the sixth with right hip tightness, one inning after being struck on the right foot by a ball off the bat of Leody Taveras. The rookie right-hander worked 5 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing one run.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Marcus Semien doubled home Evan Carter for his 89th RBI of the season. Carter was the only Rangers player to advance past second base. Dunning pitched five scoreless innings despite allowing 10 baserunners. The right-hander gave up six hits, three walks and hit a batter while striking out five.
Cleveland cruised to a 12-3 victory Friday, snapping Texas’ six-game winning streak.
Up next for Cleveland, Guardians look for the sweep as RHP Gavin Williams (2-5, 3.43 ERA), a rookie who has won once in 11 starts since July 15, pitches the finale of the three-game series. The Rangers had not announced a starter.