Guardians win Tito's final home game as manager

Cleveland would also retain the Ohio Cup with their 4-3 win over the Reds

Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians
Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

It was an emotional evening on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Wednesday night was Terry Fracona's final home game as manager of the Cleveland Guardians, and everyone in the ballpark, fan, player, or Guardians employee, was hoping to see him go out on a high note.

Shane Bieber would take the mound and did not disappoint. It was vintage performance from Bieber (if vintage is an applicable word for a pitcher who is still only 28 years old), limiting the Reds to just one run on five hits while striking out seven. This was exactly the type of performance that Cleveland needed on such a meaningful occasion, and Bieber was the perfect pitcher to deliver.

The Guardians would race out to an early 4-0 lead thanks to some contributions of a few unlikely sources. Ramon Laureano, Tyler Freeman, and Brayan Rocchio would get things started in the 2nd inning, scoring the first two runs of the game.

An RBI single from Josh Naylor in the 3rd would allow Steven Kwan to score, increasing the lead to 3. The Guardians' fourth run would also come from an unexpected player. Jose Tena would single in the 4th as Rocchio would score Cleveland's final run of the game.

Of course it would not be a proper sendoff for Tito if did not require him to navigate the bullpen late in the game. The game felt like it had reached a tipping point in the 8th, with Trevor Stephan in relief. Stephan would allow back-to-back doubles to start the frame, allowing the Reds to being to cut into Cleveland's lead. A third run would score with Stephan on the mound, making it a 4-3 game. But in true Tito fashion, he would stand by his man, and it would pay of as he would get an inning ending strikeout.

Emmanuel Clase would take over in the 9th, and it was a typical outing from Cleveland's closer. Clase would need seven pitches to get the final three outs of the game for his major league leading 43rd save.

This win means that the Guardians will retain ownership of the Ohio Cup for another year after splitting the season series with the Reds. As the reigning winner, a split series means that the cup will continue to reside in Cleveland.

There are certain moments in sports that are destined to happen, and the Guardians winning Terry Francona's home game as Cleveland's manager certainly qualifies. A trip north to take on the Detroit Tigers are the only remaining games on the schedule as the tenure of Cleveland's all-time leader in managerial wins comes to a close.