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Guardians look to take series vs. Dodgers

Sportsnaut
Jun 12, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While the Cleveland Guardians and Los Angeles Dodgers don’t meet often, there is at least one pitcher who won’t be a stranger to his opponent.

Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill knows the Dodgers well and is quite familiar with their offensive potential. The former San Diego Padres’ first-round pick faced the Dodgers three times before he was traded to Cleveland in 2020.

On solid footing now with a 4-3 record in 11 starts this season to go along with a 3.38 ERA, Quantrill was slightly out of his element as a rookie in 2019 when he made two starts against Los Angeles. He gave up 12 runs (10 earned) in 9 1/3 innings.

That was then, though. When he takes the mound at Los Angeles on Saturday while trying to extend Cleveland’s five-game winning streak, Quantrill will be coming off a home start against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, when he gave up just one run on four hits over six innings.

Since giving up four runs to the Chicago White Sox on May 10, Quantrill is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts.

The Guardians figure to have closer Emmanuel Clase (14 saves) back. He had Friday’s 2-1, 10-inning victory off after pitching all three games at Colorado this week.

“We’re all doing our jobs (and) it’s awesome to see the team come together,” Guardians pitcher Zach Plesac said on the Apple TV+ broadcast after he gave up one run over six innings Friday. “Guys are coming up in big moments and making big plays. Our defense has been outstanding. Our bullpen has been outstanding. … It’s just really fun to be a part of right now.”

The Dodgers have been scuffling on offense this month and especially of late, scoring two runs or less in five of their past six games. They were without leadoff man Mookie Betts on Friday because of a right-rib contusion. He is scheduled for a CT scan Saturday.

Los Angeles is 0-5 in extra-inning games after Friday’s loss, with the team’s typical clutch hitting not a staple this season. They also are 2-4 in their past six games.

“We’re not doing a good job moving (the free runner) to third base to then create a situational opportunity,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You saw that with (the Guardians). They did a nice job of that, and it ended up being a sac fly to drive in the winning run. Those are little things that certainly are magnified when you don’t score a bunch of runs. And extra innings, we haven’t been good at it.”

While Los Angeles’ runs have been reduced to a trickle of late, Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias (3-6, 2.80 ERA) has been dealing with a lack of run support all season. He gave up two runs over six innings at San Francisco on Sunday and retired 16 consecutive batters at one point, but the Dodgers fell 2-0.

The 20-game winner from a season ago also has had problems at home. He has given up at least four runs in two of his last three outings at Dodger Stadium, both losses.

–Field Level Media