The Cleveland Guardians erupted for nine runs in the fourth inning, and that proved to be more than enough in a 9-2 win over the visiting Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs for Cleveland (72-78), which completed a three-game sweep. Andres Gimenez finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
Josh H. Smith and Ezequiel Duran drove in one run apiece for Texas (82-67). The Rangers fell 1 1/2 games behind the Astros in the American League West after Houston defeated Kansas City on Sunday. Texas currently holds the league’s third wild-card spot by one game over division rival Seattle.
Guardians right-hander Gavin Williams (3-5) earned his second win in his past three starts. He gave up one run on four hits in six innings while walking two and striking out seven.
Rangers left-hander Cody Bradford (4-2) took the loss. He allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings. Bradford walked none and struck out two.
Texas opened the scoring before Cleveland took control.
The Rangers got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Leody Taveras hit a two-out double to center field, and he came home on Smith’s double to right field.
The Guardians’ bats remained quiet until the fourth. By the time the inning ended, Cleveland had tallied nine runs on nine hits, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch.
Ramirez started the scoring binge with a solo shot to lead off the inning. It was his 24th homer of the season and No. 216 of his career, which moved him past Larry Doby and into a tie for fifth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
One more home run will move Ramirez into sole possession of fifth place, breaking a tie with Carlos Santana and Hal Trosky. The latter played in the 1930s. The franchise’s all-time home run king is Jim Thome with 337.
Gimenez put the Guardians ahead 2-1 with an RBI single three batters after Ramirez. Then came an RBI single by Tyler Freeman, a two-run single by Gabriel Arias and an RBI single by Steven Kwan to make it 6-1.
Ramirez notched his second RBI of the inning on a groundout that scored Arias. Gimenez capped the big inning with a two-run double to left field.
The Rangers tacked on a run in the ninth on a double by Duran.
–Field Level Media