Photo credit: Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians scored six unanswered runs Thursday, including four in the eighth inning to blow past the Athletics 8-4, putting them back above .500 for the first time in nearly a month and giving them their 8th win in their last 10 games. 

Guardians (29-27) 6 – Athletics (21-41) 3. WP: Cal Quantrill (4-3), LP: Cole Irvin (2-3), SV: Emmanuel Clase (11)

 Another Solid outing from Quantrill

In a year with a lot of ups and down from Guardians starting pitchers, Cal Quantrill, along with Triston McKenzie, seems to be the most consistent. His ERA sits at 3.38, which is primarily the amount he tends to give up each game, since the most earned runs he’s had in an outing this season is four. However, giving up three or less runs in 6 or more innings of work is considered a quality start, and that’s just what Quantrill has been throwing this season. It came much earlier as the game time was 11:35, two hours before a normal Sunday start.

“I think I was well prepared for it because I’ve thrown a lot of day games,” Quantrill said. “It feels like I throw a lot of day games.”

In an early Sunday matinee against the Athletics, Quantrill had his 8th quality start in his last nine games, going six innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out four. Quantrill, on 90 pitches, had 14 swings and misses, six of them coming on his cutter. His cutter was carving up the A’s batters. His velocity was above his yearly average, with his fastest sinker clocking in at 94.9 on the radar gun. It was a heavy day of sinkers and cutters for Quantrill, as they accounted for 73 of his 90 pitches on the afternoon.

 “I thought we commanded the fastball really well,” Quantrill explained. “We were ahead of most guys. Kind of got the contact we wanted minus the first inning.”

The crazy part about all this, it almost didn’t happen. As close as twenty minutes to game time, Quantrill was throwing up and feeling ill. However, Quantrill was determined to pitch.

“I was pitching no matter what,” Quantrill exclaimed. “Just some weird stomach stuff. Probably got a little greedy on my breakfast for an 11:30 game.”

 It was a little concerning at first for Manager Terry Francona.

“It was 11:15 and we got a call in the dugout like ‘Hey heads up,” Francona told. “So we’re kind of scrambling and I looked at the lineup card and thought we could get seven innings from our bullpen max. 

 Francona was impressed with how Quantrill not only was able to pitch but had one of his best outings of the season. 

“Under the circumstances, he was in with throwing up while he was warming up is pretty impressive.”

José doing José things

José Ramírez has had some incredible seasons during his baseball career, this year is no exception. Except, it’s not only his best, but one of the best in franchise history. He joined a list of just two players, Albert Belle and Manny Ramírez, as the only players in franchise history to reach 58 RBI in 56 games or less. That’s how good José has been. Sunday morning, he added to his league lead in RBI with three on the afternoon, two of them coming off of a double in in the bottom of the 1st, his seventeenth double of the year and his league leading 37th extra base hit of the season. He would score a run on a force out in the seventh inning that extended the Guardians lead to 6-1. Over the last five games, Ramírez has been raking. He’s 8-20 (.400) with two home runs, six RBI, five runs, and five doubles. If you could give an MVP for the series against Oakland, Ramírez would easily be at the top of that list. His play however, has been no surprise to his teammates.

 “He’s the most important player in baseball,” Quantrill said. “There’s a lot of great players, but he makes the biggest difference on any given team. I think right now he manufacture’s 75 percent of our runs. He plays good D and helps out our other hitters. It would be hard to cover everything that he’s done for us quite honestly.”

Amed rolling along

Amed Rosario has been the talk of trade rumors by fans and people who follow the team closely for a long time this season. When you look at their 40-man situation with it already being so full, Rosario comes up a lot as someone who could be expendable by trade if need be. While that remains to be seen, Rosario has really picked up his production over the last week. Rosario picked up three hits on Sunday, tied for his second highest of the season. With an RBI double during the game, he extended his hitting streak to seven games, a new season high. During the streak, he is batting 12for 29 (.414) with 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases. He’s also finding his groove again as the number two hitter in the lineup, behind Myles Straw and in front of Ramírez. 

First yearly domination of the A’s in a while 

The Battle of the small markets has always been close over the years, with not either side dominating the others. All of them are usually close battles. In 2022 however, the Guardians got the best of the Oakland A’s as they finish the year 6-1 against them, easily taking the season series. The Guardians completed their first sweep in Oakland since 2000, at the end of April, won their first overall season series against the A’s since 2016 and finished with their best record against Oakland since they went 10-2 against them in 1999. 

The Guardians finish the homestand with a record of 5-2 over a pair of AL West teams in the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. Now, they head out west for a 6-game road trip to take on the Colorado Rockies, before playing a team with a winning record for the first time in three weeks as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

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