After the first two games basically went down to the wire, the Cleveland Guardians were able to win a bit more comfortably Thursday afternoon. It should be mentioned that while this was a much less stressful outing for the Guardians, it did not lack any sort of drama.
Like the first two games of the series, Oakland jumped out to an early lead. Add that on top of JP Sears mowing down Cleveland's lineup the first time through the order and things were not looking great. But if anyone has paid any sort of attention this series, it is wise not to make any sort bold judgments about a game prematurely.
Justa bit later it was a home run from Josh Bell in 5th that got Cleveland on the scoreboard to tie the game at 1. A few batters later it was the least likely player to drive the ball but also one of the more likely players to stretch a double into a triple, Myles Straw, delivering with a RBI triple to give the Guardians the lead for good.
It was the 8th inning was when Cleveland all but ended the game, scoring four add on runs to make them grand slam proof with a 6-1 lead. The Guardians scored twice on bases loaded walks and twice on wild pitches, one of which was on ball four of a free pass to Cam Gallagher. The 9th was a relatively brief affair as Eli Morgan finished the game with a clean inning and secure the win.
What matters here in the grand scheme of things is that the Guardians swept a much inferior squad. Even though they had to battle for the overwhelming majority of this series and the first two games were a lot closer than they would have liked, coming out on top in the end is all that matters at the moment.
Winning a series against a team like Oakland is a must for a team in the race for a division crown. In fact, it is the bare minimum acceptable result. The true goal when facing some of the worst teams in the league is a sweep and they did just that.
Cleveland has now won four straight games for just the second time this year. The last time? All the way back at the beginning of the season when they took three from Seattle and one from Oakland on the road. The Guardians have a chance to win a season-high fifth straight game and third straight home series Friday when the reeling Brewers come to town.