The Cleveland Guardians did what they had to do in Minnesota. Take two of three from the Twins and cut into their lead in the American League Central division.
The Guardians took the second and third games of the series, while the Twins won the first. Game 3 needed extras to be decided, but a two-out three-run homer off the bat of Kole Calhoun proved decisive in the 10th. Calhoun found himself in a 3-0 count with runners in second and third before unloading on a low 90s fastball that caught too much of the plate. This proved to be the difference, as Cleveland would hang on for a 5-2 win over division-leading Minnesota.
It is a steep climb for the Guardians, but this is a ball club showing that they are not ready to call it quits just yet. Wednesday's win over the Twins cuts their lead to five games and presents a path for the Guardians to make things interesting down the stretch. The path is narrow, but it does exist, and that matters. Cleveland is facing a week that will play a major factor in whether or not the final month of the season is for something or just to get a look at the kids.
The Guardians are set to begin a home stand against the Tampa Bay Rays before welcoming the Twins to Progressive Field for their final three matchups. While a letdown occurring during this upcoming week will not mathematically eliminate them, this is the season. Win, and things can get interesting in the American League Central. The Guardians could even see an arm or two return to their pitching staff if they find a way to be competitive as the regular season ends. Lose too many games, and this is a team that will finish several games back as an also-ran., putting an end to a very disappointing season.
The Guardians' fate is in their hands and their season is on the line beginning Friday.