Pinch runner Ernie Clement scored from second base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning to score the winning run as the Cleveland Guardians rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the visiting Minnesota Twins 4-3 in the opener of their five-game series on Friday night.
Clement was running for Josh Naylor, who opened the eighth with a broken-bat single off Twins reliever Jhoan Duran and advanced to second on a single by Oscar Gonzalez. Clement then entered the game to pinch-run for Naylor and came around to score when Duran uncorked a wild pitch to Andres Gimenez that caromed high into the air and eventually landed by the backstop before catcher Gary Sanchez, who initially lost track of the ball, could retrieve it.
Emmanuel Clase allowed just an infield single while retiring the Twins in the ninth for his major-league-leading 36th save. Trevor Stephan (6-4), who struck out two of the three batters he faced in a hitless eighth, picked up the win for Cleveland (77-66).
Amed Rosario had a two-run single, Gonzalez had two hits and Jose Ramirez doubled and reached base three times for the Guardians, who defeated the Twins for the 10th time this season, seven of them by one run.
Jake Cave went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and Jose Miranda had two doubles and an RBI for Minnesota (72-71), which fell five games behind the Guardians in the American League Central standings. Duran (2-4) allowed one run on two hits over one inning.
Minnesota parlayed three consecutive two-out hits into a 1-0 lead in the third. Luis Arraez singled, took second on a single by Carlos Correa and then scored on Miranda’s double over the third-base bag.
The Twins extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Gio Urshela led off with a single and scored one out later on Cave’s fourth home run of the season, a 412-foot drive into the bullpen in right-center.
Cleveland took advantage of a throwing error by second baseman Nick Gordon to score a pair of unearned runs and tie it, 3-3, in the bottom of the seventh. Gimenez started the comeback when he reached base on Gordon’s throwing error and then advanced to third on a single by pinch hitter Owen Miller. One out later, Myles Straw grounded a single to drive in Gimenez. After Steven Kwan grounded out to first, Rosario singled to center to drive in Miller and Straw.
–Field Level Media