Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians gave their moms and all moms around Northeast Ohio a good day as an Owen Miller home run and RBI single by Oscar Mercado in the eighth inning allowed them to shut the door in the ninth and take three of four games from the Toronto Blue Jays, getting back to .500 on the season. This also means the Guardians finish their six-game home stand with a winning record of 4-2.

Guardians (14-14) 4 – Blue Jays (17-13) 3. WP: Bryan Shaw (1-0), LP: Adam Cimber (4-2) SV: Clase (6)

Guardians Start Konnor Pilkington Helps Rest Starters Before Big Week

With an important six-game road trip coming up where the Guardians will play two divisional foes in the White Sox and Twins, Cleveland needed a day to bridge the gap for its starters and relievers. What was probably a great Mother’s Day gift for his mom, Konnor Pilkington was called up to make his first major league start Sunday against the Blue Jays. It started off exactly how a major league debut against a very good offense would go. The Jays first five batters got on base via three hits and a couple of walks that scored two runs. However, Pilkington really settled down after that and had a very respectable first start. He went 3.1 innings, giving up three hits, three walks and striking out six on 83 pitches. 

“There’s something to be said for a young kid that endures 36 pitches in the first inning and stays out there and competes,” Manager Terry Francona said. “He reeled it back in and ultimately gave us a chance to win.”

When Franmil Hits, Guardians Win

 About a week ago, many were calling for Franmil Reyes to be benched. He was batting near .130, he had a stretch where he went 0-26 with 17 strikeouts, including eight straight at-bats with a strikeout. One homestand later, Reyes is HOT. In his last six games, Reyes has absolutely caught fire, notching 12 hits and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. Over those six games, he’s batting a ridiculous .521 with five RBI. If you look at just this four-game series with the Blue Jays, he was 9-14 (.642) with a home run, double and two RBI. It’s no coincidence that when Reyes has started hitting, the Guardians have begun beating teams that have winning records, those being the Padres and Blue Jays. His teammates have a lot more confidence because of how he has handled themselves through some of the rough patches he’s had this season.

“I think it’s been really awesome to see what he’s been doing the last week or so,” Oscar Mercado said. “He was going through what everyone goes through, but just watching how calm and positive he stayed throughout the whole thing, it’s something you learn from.”

Midgame No-Hitter 

After their initial three hits in the first inning, Pilkington and Eli Morgan didn’t allow a hit to the Blue Jays through the seventh. They struck out nine and allowed just one walk during the stretch. It wasn’t until Santiago Espinal hit a leadoff double in the seventh that the Blue Jays finally registered another hit. From there, a flyout by Ramiel Tapia allowed Espinal to advance to third before a sac fly by George Springer made it 3-2. Morgan was the long reliever for the day and was very efficient as he struck out three and only allowed a run over 3.2 innings. Francona says that Morgan brings a different kind of factor to the bullpen.

“It’s funny because sometimes he’s a hard guy to figure out how to use,” Francona said. “We don’t necessarily want him to overpitch because maybe the next day we lose his length. He understands that. However, once he gets through the order, he can maybe give you two or more really good innings and be a pretty good weapon.”

Outstanding Base Running by Andrés Giménez in Eighth

In the eighth inning, Owen Miller hit a 399-foot scorcher to the left field bleachers to tie the game at three. Miller, who hit his 14th extra-base hit of the season and collected his fifth RBI in the last three games, is one player along with Giménez who has really made tremendous strides this year.

“Sometimes guys come here and don’t click right away,” Francona said. “Then they go home over the winter, and they come back and appear stronger. You can tell, he looks like a different hitter.” 

 Then came in former Cleveland pitcher Adam Cimber for Toronto. Reyes singled up the middle for his 12th hit in six games and third of the day. Giménez followed by drawing a walk to put two men on with two outs. Mercado then hit a 2-2 fastball into center off his former teammate. Reyes was being waved around third when the throw came in and it looked like it was going to be thrown out at home, but Cimber stopped it from reaching home. Giménez had run around second and was headed to third but was caught in a run down. However, this allowed Reyes to score and put the Guardians up 4-3. 

Guardians Streaks 

José Ramírez added to his league leading total in RBI when he plated Steven Kwan off of a triple in the third inning. With that triple, it added to the Guardians MLB best nine triples in the 2022 season, while also extending his on base streak to seven games. Right before that, Kwan doubled into right field, extending his hitting streak to eight games. During this streak, he is batting 9-31 (.281) with a home run, a double and six RBI. After dropping seven in a row to fall to 7-12, the Guardians have now won seven of their last nine games to climb back to .500 at 14-14. That was the best thing they could ask for as now, they have a six-game road trip with the White Sox and Twins starting Monday in Chicago.  

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