In a game that saw manager Terry Francona tossed for arguing over some questionable calls (for the first time this season), the Cleveland Guardians got a win Thursday evening in the first game in a series of 4 over the rebuilding Oakland A’s. The final score was 8 – 4 , and the win put the Guards one game over .500 for the first time in exactly one month.
For Cleveland (Now 27-26), the scoring started with an explosive bottom of the 4th that kicked off with back to back jacks. First was 3B Jose Ramirez knocking one out right field (383 ft), followed by 1B Josh Naylor sending a bomb to right center (404 ft). After this they remained quiet until the bottom of 6th, with LF Steven Kwan scoring on a single from RF Oscar Gonzales. Next was the bottom of the 7th, when a single from Kwan scored C Luke Maile. Finally the Guards did the rest of the damage in the bottom of the 8th, when Mercado, Miller, Clement and Giminez would all reach home and blow the game open with an 8-4 lead that would carry them to the victory. Starting Pitcher Konnor Pilkington went 5.2 innings and racked up 2 KO’S along with 4 walks, while allowing 4 hits and 4 runs. He received a no decision for his efforts, and the win went to Ernie De Los Santos while pitching in relief.
For Oakland (Now 20-39), who racked up their 8th lost in a row, the scoring also started with the long ball when DH Christian Bethancourt went 378 ft to right field for a 2 run homer in the top of the 2nd. A double by a pinch-hitting Seth Brown would score two more in the top of the sixth, but this would be the last action from the A’s bats, and it would prove to be far from enough. Starting Pitcher James Kaprielian would also recieve a ND, for going 5.0 innings and racking up 3 KO’S and no walks, while allowing 5 hits and 2 runs. The loss went to Lou Trivino in relief.
The Guardians will seek to continue their winning ways in the second game of the series tommorow, with a first pitch set for roughly 7:10pm (pregame will start on WQKT at 6:35pm). Triston Mckenzie (3-5 going into the game) is the probable starter for the Guards, while Paul Blackburn (5-2 going into the game) will take the mound for the A’s.