After scoring more than three runs for just the second time in their last 11 games on Friday, the Cleveland Guardians still fell to 3-4 on their current nine-game homestand.
Cleveland let a victory slip away by allowing the visiting Los Angeles Angels to score two runs in the ninth inning on Friday. The Guardians will have their first shot at redemption when they continue the three-game series on Saturday evening.
Josh Naylor seemingly sent Cleveland to its fourth victory in the last six games when he ripped a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning, but Hunter Renfroe’s RBI fielder’s choice and Brandon Drury’s sacrifice fly in the ninth lifted the Angels to a 5-4 win.
The Guardians slipped to 7-12 at home this season. However, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said he thinks things are looking up for his club.
“We had chances, and then we had chances to tack on in the eighth, but we had some better at-bats,” Francona said. “We hit some balls hard. … I thought it was encouraging.”
Cleveland’s Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.89 ERA) will hope the lineup continues to show improvement when he makes his eighth start of the season on Saturday.
In his most recent outing, Quantrill put together his strongest game of the year, throwing seven shutout innings in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. He allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out four.
Minnesota was baffled by Quantrill’s splitter, a pitch that the right-hander is starting to incorporate into his mix.
“For me, the splitter is more something that shows if I’m doing my job early in counts,” Quantrill said. “I knew it was good; I was just never giving myself a chance to throw it. I’m glad I was able to get to use it.”
Quantrill is 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) vs. the Angels.
Reid Detmers (0-3, 5.10) will oppose Quantrill after surrendering three runs on seven hits in four-plus innings against the Texas Rangers last Saturday. The left-hander walked two and matched a season high by fanning seven.
In three career starts against the Guardians, Detmers is 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA.
One of Los Angeles’ key contributors looking to back Detmers will be third baseman Anthony Rendon, who finally has started to produce consistently after injuries ravaged the beginning of his Angels’ career.
Rendon is batting .382 (21-for-55) with one homer, 10 RBIs and 13 runs over his past 15 games. He went 3-for-5 on Friday.
Despite putting together a torrid stretch, Rendon is solely focused on how the team is performing as a whole.
“Oh man, it’s not about me,” Rendon said, according to MLB.com. “We got 26 guys on this team. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing good or bad, man. It’s if we win. It’s called a team sport. It’s all good. I’m just happy to be here and be with the guys and help them win.”
In 16 career games against the Guardians, Rendon is 24-for-63 (.381) with two home runs and nine RBIs.
–Field Level Media