Oscar Gonzalez’s two-out, tiebreaking infield single in the eighth inning rallied the Cleveland Guardians past Tampa Bay 2-1, preventing the visiting Rays from clinching a postseason berth on Thursday night.
The Guardians (88-68) got things started in the eighth Will Brennan stroked a pinch-hit single and advanced to second on Myle Straw’s sacrifice bunt. Steven Kwan then lined an RBI double to left to tie it 1-1 before scoring on Gonzalez’s game-winner.
On a pitch from Shawn Armstrong (2-3), Gonzalez was jammed and hit a slow roller to the right of diving first baseman Ji-Man Choi to plate the go-ahead run for the Guardians.
The Rays (85-71) threatened in the ninth when Cleveland’s Trevor Stephan walked the bases loaded, but he struck out Choi and got Isaac Paredes on a flyout to shallow right to preserve the win with his third save.
Enyel De Los Santos (5-0) fired a perfect eighth with two strikeouts.
Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill was attempting to tie a major league record in his 33rd career start at Progressive Field. The right-hander was 13-0 entering the game — one win shy of tying Vic Raschi’s record for an undefeated mark in one stadium. Raschi, a member of the New York Yankees, turned the feat by going 14-0 at the Chicago White Sox’s Comiskey Park from 1947-55.
Quantrill tossed six innings and allowed just a first-inning run and three hits. He struck out four without a walk. Enyel De Los Santos (5-0) earned the win with two strikeouts in a perfect eighth.
For Tampa Bay, Wander Franco (double, walk, run, two stolen bases) and David Peralta (walk, RBI) each went 2-for-3 to account for all of Tampa Bay’s hits.
Jeffrey Springs spun six scoreless innings and allowed three hits. He fanned five without a walk.
The Rays’ magic number to make the playoffs remained at one.
In their final regular-season meeting, the Rays tallied a run with some good two-out swings against Quantrill in the first.
Two batters after Franco sliced a double to left-center with two outs, Peralta grounded a single just past second baseman Andres Gimenez to send home the shortstop.
Cleveland placed runners at the corners in the second and third innings, but Austin Hedges struck out on three pitches to strand them in the second and Gonzalez grounded out to end the third frame.
Springs settled in after the third and kept the Guardians’ batters off-balance against his changeup over the next three innings — retiring the final 10 batters he faced.
–Field Level Media