The Cleveland Guardians were forced into hoping to settle for a split of their four-game set with Chicago as they dropped two straight games to the White Sox following a series opening win. The combination of Jose Ramirez and Aaron Civale made sure that things would go their way Sunday as they both did their part to propel the Guardians to a 5-0 win.
Ramirez continued his recent hot streak by hitting two home runs in the contest. The Guardians' third baseman gave the team some much-needed margin for error as they held just a two-run lead in the bottom of the 5th. A solo shot from Ramirez coming just after Steven Kwan did the same extended Cleveland's lead. Ramirez would add a two-run homer in the 7th to give them a grand-slam-proof lead.
With another multi-home run performance to his name, Jose moves into sole possession of fourth-place all-time in Cleveland baseball history with 23 such games after previously being tied with Manny Ramirez. Only three more to go be tied with Albert Belle for most all time and four to take over as the team's all-time leader.
Pitching did their part in the Guardians' win
Guardians'It was not all on the offense as Aaron Civale was dominant in what could be his final start with Cleveland. Civale shut down the White Sox in his 6 innings on the mound, allowing just three hits and walking two while striking out four. Being able to keep Chicago in check while pitching with a slim lead early on proved to be crucial as the Guardians' offense eventually did its part to provide a bit of breathing room.
Should this be Civale's final start in a Guardians' uniform he made sure to go out on a good note in more ways than one. Shutting out a division rival while fighting for the division and getting back to within half a game is rather impressive.
With the win, Cleveland is 53-53 on the year and they have a chance to tie for the American League Central division lead Monday as the Minnesota Twins are idle. Getting over .500 with the trade deadline just a day and some hours away would bode well for the chances moving forward.