Guardians shrink AL Central magic number to 1 with 17th win in 20 games
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cal Quantrill won his career-best 10th consecutive decision, rookie Oscar Gonzalez hit two home runs and the Cleveland Guardians moved closer to clinching the AL Central, beating the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Saturday night.
The Guardians go into Sunday with a magic number of one over the Chicago White Sox to win their first division title since 2018.
Cleveland has won six straight games and 17 of 20.
“We all believe this is what we’re capable of this year and it’s been fun to watch everyone jump on board,” Quantrill said.
Quantrill (14-5) hasn’t lost in 15 starts dating to July 5. He allowed one run, a solo homer to Marcus Semien in the third inning. He struck out four and walked three.
His winning streak is the longest active string in the major leagues. It’s the longest by a Cleveland pitcher since Mike Clevinger ran off 10 consecutive wins in 2019.
“I know if I keep us in the game long enough, we’ll find a way to win,” Quantrill said.
Both of Gonzalez’s homers were leadoff shots, in the fifth and ninth innings, giving him 11 – six in September. Called up from Triple-A Columbus in late May when Franmil Reyes went on the injured list, Gonzalez has two multi-homer games this season.
Andres Gimenez also hit a solo homer, in the seventh off Brock Burke (7-4) to give Quantrill a 2-1 lead.
Emmanuel Clase earned his major-league-best 39th save in 43 opportunities despite giving up a solo homer to rookie Sam Huff in the ninth.
Amed Rosario drove home Myles Straw with Cleveland’s third run in the eighth with a ground-rule double to right-center into the home bullpen.
Texas starter Glenn Otto gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings, one short of equaling the most innings pitched in his two-year big-league career.
Otto walked the game’s first hitter, Steven Kwan, on four pitches, then retired the next 12 batters before giving up Gonzalez’s homer leading off the fifth inning.
In the sixth, Rosario’s major league-best ninth triple to the base of the right-field wall came with one out. Otto struck out Jose Ramirez, and Burke came on and retired left-handed hitting Josh Naylor on a grounder.
Texas had at least one batter reach base in all but one inning but was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
“We haven’t been able to get a lot of timely hitting of late,” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “Hopefully we can reverse that.”
A SALUTE TO MR. RANGER
The Rangers on Sunday will honor Tom Grieve, who’s retiring from the club at the end of the season following 55 years as a player, general manager and broadcaster. Grieve’s time with the franchise predated its arrival in Texas before the 1972 season; he played with the Washington Senators in 1970.
Guardians: RHP Zach Plesac (broken hand) pitched five innings in a rehab start for Columbus on Saturday, likely the final step before he’s activated. He broke his hand earlier this month in Seattle when he punched the ground after giving up a home run.
Rangers: OF Adolis Garcia, fourth in the AL with 95 RBIs, was given Saturday off after being hit by a pitch in the left wrist in the ninth inning of Friday night’s game. … RHP Dane Dunning will undergo season-ending arthroscopic hip surgery next week. He finished 4-8 with a 4.46 ERA. He was chosen as Texas’ pitcher of the year in 2021 going 5-10 with a 4.51 ERA in his first year with the club.
Guardians RHP Aaron Civale (2-6, 5.29 ERA) allowed two runs in five innings last Tuesday against the White Sox. He’d come off the injured list for his first start since Aug. 28.
Rangers rookie LHP Cole Ragans (0-2, 5.40) will make his eighth big league start with no-decisions in the last four.
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