The Cleveland Guardians were coming into the weekend series against the Giants, having won their two-game interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Guardian’s offense scored 17 runs in that series. The Guardians hosted the San Francisco Giants on Jackie Robinson Day, and the pitching matchup was between Zach Plesac and Carlos Rodon.
The Giants scored in the second inning as shortstop Brandon Crawford clobbered a changeup over the right-field wall to take a 1-0 lead. Carlos Rodon was dominating as he stifled the Cleveland offense. Giants outfielder Joc Pederson blasted a solo home run in the 6th inning to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Carlos Rodon had a shutout heading into the 7th inning.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Bryan Shaw struck out Brandon Crawford to escape from a bases-loaded jam. Guardian infielder Owen Miller hit a fly ball to right field that scored Jose Ramirez to cut the Giants lead 2-1. The Giants would add insurance runs as catcher Joey Bart hit a two-run home run to expand their lead to 4-1. The Guardians could not muster a rally and lost the first game of the series 4-1.
After Cal Quantrill retired the Giants in order, Myles Straw led off the bottom of the inning with a triple. Jose Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field, which scored Myles Straw for a 1-0 lead. The Giants scored in the 5th inning as first baseman Brandon Belt hit a single up the middle, which scored two runs. Myles Straw would respond in the bottom of the inning as he laced a double off the left-field wall, which scored Owen Miller to tie the game at 2-2.
The Giants took the lead in the 8th inning as they scored two runs off of Guardians reliever Nick Sandlin who threw over 20 pitches in the 8th. Sandlin took the loss as the Guardians could not come back. The Guardians had eight hits in the game. Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, and Owen Miller collected two hits in the game.
It was a cold Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, as the Guardians were trying to avoid a sweep by the hands of the Giants. Aaron Civale was sharp out of the gate as he threw ten pitches in the first inning. In the second inning, Thairo Estrada hit an 85mph cutter over the left-field wall for a two-run home run. Civale’s pitch count climbed in the 4th inning as he threw 70 pitches.
Owen Miller made a throwing error which caused another run to score on a potential double-play. The Giants took a 4-0 lead heading into the late innings. Thairo Estrada continued his hot streak as he smoked a double down left-field to score Joc Pederson for a 5-0 Giants lead. The Giants scored another run in the following inning, though the Giants were not done as Brandon Belt hit a two-run home run to take an 8-0 lead. Austin Hedges created the only run for the Guardians as he hit a single to left field to score Amed Rosario. The Guardians lost the game 8-1.
It is frustrating anytime for a team to lose a series, especially early in the season. It is frustrating for the team and the fans when the offense struggles to get hits. The Guardians have a record of 4 wins and 5 losses and are two games back of the first-place Chicago White Sox. The Guardians have a chance to lead the AL Central division as they host the White Sox for a four-game series starting tomorrow. It is early, but the Guardians can make a big statement if they can take three wins in the series. It is April, but it could be all the difference by the end of the year.