The Cleveland Guardians came into this week with a tough task at hand. After taking the series by winning three out of four from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Guardians faced their division rivals the Chicago White Sox. The Guardians came into this matchup with a record of 14 wins and 14 losses. Toeing the rubber for the Guardians was Zach Plesac.
In the first inning, Steven Kwan scored on an error that gave the Guardians a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Zach Plesac would struggle. The White Sox scored four runs as Yoan Moncada scored on a wild pitch, and then Gavin Sheets hit a three-run home run to give the White Sox a 4-1 lead. Neither team would score until late in the game.
Zach Plesac would settle in as he kept the Chicago offense in check for multiple innings. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Tim Anderson laced a double to centerfield that scored a run. At the top of the 8th, first baseman Josh Naylor hit a double to left field, which scored Steven Kwan. A.J. Pollock responded with a three-run blast in the bottom of the inning to expand the White Sox lead to 8-2.
Going into the top of the 9th, surely the White Sox would cruise to victory. As we all know in sports, no lead is ever safe. However, the Guardians had other plans. Guardians shortstop Andreas Gimenez led off the inning with a home run, and Rosario would score on an error. Josh Naylor came in clutch as he blasted a grand slam to tie the game at 8-8.
The game went into extra innings and in extra innings, the Guardians’ offense struck first. Guardians shortstop Andreas Gimenez hit a double that scored Clement, though the White Sox would tie the game in the bottom of the inning. White Sox catcher Reese McGuire hit a ground ball which induced a fielder’s choice and scored Adam Engel. In the 11th inning, Josh Naylor was not finished yet, as he lifted a ball over the right-field wall for a three-run home run to give the Guardians a 12-9 lead.
Guardians reliever Trevor Stephan closed out the game, as the Guardians won 12-9 in an epic game. Josh Naylor played the best game of his life and morphed into a legend overnight. Josh Naylor finished his night with three hits, two were home runs, a walk, and eight rbis. Josh Naylor is the first player to record eight rbi’s from the eighth inning on since the stat came into effect in 1920. Naylor also cemented his name in history as he is the first player in league history to hit multiple three-run home runs from the ninth inning on. The Guardians are not the least bit surprised, as Josh Naylor is a talented player. You might recall the Guardians traded for him two seasons ago while being in the Padres minor league system.
This is an exciting start to the season for this young club. The team has since won the series against the White Sox. The Guardians currently sit in third place in the AL Central with a record of 15 wins and 15 losses and are 3.5 out of first place. Something tells me there are more exciting things in store for this club.