Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports The Guardians faced multiple jams but we’re able to hold on to their one run lead and escape with their first series win at Camden […]
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
The Guardians faced multiple jams but we’re able to hold on to their one run lead and escape with their first series win at Camden Yards since 2017 with a 3-2 win, with all of the runs coming from a home run by Andrés Giménez in the first.
Guardians (24-25) 3 – Orioles (23-33) 3. WP: Zach Plesac (3-3), LP: Dean Kremer (0-1), SV: Emmanuel Clase (9)
Andrés The Giant
The Guardians already have a star on in the lineup in José Ramírez. However, there might be a second one growing up day by day in the infield as well. That player is Andrés Giménez. When you watch Giménez play, you can see glimpses of what a star player looks like. He wasn’t rated the number two international prospect in the 2015 class by Baseball America for nothing. His defense this season has been a sight to see, and the stats back it up. He’s seventh in the MLB in defensive WAR ratings at 0.9. He helped make a spectacular double play in the bottom of the ninth to clear the bases and allow Emmanuel Clase to get the final out to end the game.
“I was in the shift, and I have to move my body the other way,” Giménez said. “I think we did a tremendous job and Josey with the throw and Owen with the pick.”
On the offensive side, the Guardians only managed three runs. All of them came on one swing by Giménez. In the top of the first, Giménez hit a scorcher down the right field line that got over the tall wall in right to give the Guardians a 3-0. It was Giménez’s seventh home run of the year and his second in two games. It was another in a list of home runs that Giménez has hit at Camden Yards.
“I really like this ballpark,” Giménez said. “There’s a lot of good memories here. This is where I hit my first home run in the majors and most importantly, I helped the team win today.”
He has much more power than people give him credit for, evidenced by his homer yesterday that become one of an exclusive club that landed on Eutaw Street, just outside of the ballpark right in front of the famous warehouse outside right field at Camden Yards. That home run was 418 feet.
Eli Morgan Continues to Be Reliable
It’s hard to argue that Eli Morgan has been one of, if not the most reliable relievers out of Cleveland’s bullpen this season. This stretch he’s been on recently however has been nothing short of special. Morgan came on in relief of Sam Hentges in the seventh inning after he walked two batters. Morgan worked out of the jam and didn’t allow a hit to keep the game at 3-2. The next inning, same result. He went 1.2 innings with no hits, no runs, while walking and striking out one. With that performance, over his last 10 appearances, Morgan has pitched 16 innings, allowing just one run on four hits, including no runs in his last eight appearances, and striking out 21. That’s an ERA of 0.56 over his last 16 appearances. It’s hard to be much better than that.
“He deserves it,” Manager Terry Francona praised. “Somebody asked me what I thought at the end of spring, and I said I hope he can become a weapon. That is exactly what he is right now. That’s valuable.”
Plesac Gets Out of Jam, Finishes Strong
Zach Plesac can finally add another one into the win column, his first outright win in seven starts, with the last one being against the Chicago White Sox on April 21. It didn’t come easy as Plesac got himself into a jam in the bottom of the fifth after Rougned Odor and Ryan Mckenna got back-to-back hits to put runners on second and third with no outs. The score was also 3-2. This would be one of two times on Sunday that the Guardians worked themselves out a of jam clinging to a one-run lead.
“It was crunch time,” Plesac explained. “Those are big moments and I needed to step up and make some pitches. Luckily, it wasn’t a harder part of their lineup at the time, I knew if I executed pitches, I’d be in a good spot.”
Plesac struck out Jorge Mateo and Austin Hayes on nine pitches and then got Trey Mancini to line out to right to end the inning. Plesac was fired up afterwards.
“He competed like crazy,” Francona praised. “He threw a really good changeup, especially against the left handers, which is understandable. I thought when he got tested in the fifth, he reached back and got some fastballs we hadn’t seen, but he wasn’t just throwing he was commanding.”
Plesac lasted six innings while giving up just two runs, both earned, on four hits, and surrendering a home run to Ryan Mountcastle in the fourth, the seventh start in a row that Plesac has given up a home run. However, Plesac has put together two solid back-to-back starts and says he feels a lot more comfortable pitching.
“I feel like I’m much more comfortable with how I’m moving,” Plesac explained. “I think the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to find it. I think knowing how I’m moving and feeling comfortable where I’m at. I have a better mindset going to attack a pitch.”
Camden’s Finally Good to Cleveland
The Cleveland Guardians have one of the league’s highest win percentages since Terry Francona took over as Manager in 2013. With a record of 789-640 since 2013, only the Dodgers, Yankees and Cardinals have more wins over this nine-year period. However, Camden Yards is a place they haven’t enjoyed much success.
“We have not played well here ever,” Francona admitted. “I don’t think you should count my Boston days, but it wasn’t good then either. We’ve come in here and really have gotten pushed around at times. We need to play the right way every day or we don’t put ourselves in a position to win.”
With Sunday’s win, this marks just the third series since 2013 that Cleveland has won in Baltimore, it’s also their first since 2017. The Guardians have lost four series against the Orioles since 2013 and split the first two years. That makes them 3-4-2 at Camden Yards since 2013. In fact, the last time they’ve even swept the Orioles in Baltimore? 2001.