Steven Kwan leads Guardians to 4-3 win with homer in 7th
The Cleveland Guardians were in desperate need of a win in the worst way Saturday. Having lost their fourth series opener in their last six, Cleveland once again saw an early lead erased as tensions mounted. The Twins were able to score three runs in the 6th and 7th innings to even the score and it seemed like this game was destined for extras.
Enter Steven Kwan.
With two out in the inning and in a 2-1 count, Kwan was ready for his pitch. That pitch? A hanging middle-middle 87 MPH slider from Jorge Alcala that was promptly deposited into the stands.
This was the first home run of the season for Kwan and he made it count. This long ball was the difference in the game when it was all said and done as Cleveland went on to win 4-3 over the Twins.
Kwan is yet to fully hit his stride this season, with a .267/.355/.336 slash line that is more than a few ticks below what he was able to accomplish last season. With a 95 wRC+ through 33 games, this is below what he is clearly capable of as he has never had a wRC+ below 115 since being a member of the Guardians organization. Perhaps that late inning long ball is the jump start necessary in order to get back on track.
This win puts the Guardians in position to win their first series since mid-April, a streak that needs to come to an end. Cleveland is much better than what their record and overall numbers indicate, the team outside a select few has simply underperformed up to this point. The Guardians must take advantage of the situation at hand and win this series to continue to close the gap between themselves and the division leading Twins.