It took two starts, but the pitcher the Cleveland Guardians thought they were getting when they claimed him on waivers finally showed up. Lucas Giolito struck out a season-high 12 batters in Cleveland's comfortable 12-3 win over the visiting Texas Rangers Friday night. This is Giolito's highest strikeout total in a single game since 2021, when he also struck out 12 and the second-highest of his career (13).
This was simply a dominant outing from Giolito, limiting the Rangers to just two hits and a walk during his 7 innings of work. The 28-year-old veteran was able to put the leadoff walk behind him and was to rein in his command after a laborious 19-pitch 1st inning. It was smooth sailing for Giolito from that point onward, cruising for pretty much the rest of his time on the mound.
While Giolito was taking care of business on the mound, it was the Guardians' hitters doing their job in the batter's box. Cleveland finished the game with 15 total hits, seven of which went for extra bases. This included home runs from Kole Calhoun, Ramon Laureano, and Andres Gimenez, while Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, Bo Naylor, and Will Brennan all managed to hit a double.
Each starter in the Guardians lineup registered a hit in the contest, with Josh Naylor's four hits leading the way. Laureano, Gimenez, and Gabriel Arias also had a multi-hit game with two hits each, while the rest of the Guardians' starting lineup finished with one hit apiece.
The only runs that Texas scored in the contest were of no consequence, scratching three across in the top of the 9th with the game all but over. Losing the shutout was less than ideal, but it is hard to complain about much in a game that features a nine-run margin of victory.
This was an impressive win for the Guardians against a team with postseason aspirations. Granted, this is a Rangers team that has been fading and just lost another starting pitcher due to injury, but this is a result that could impact Texas' postseason chances/playoff seeding.