Guardians pull away late to sweep Angels
Oscar Gonzalez and Andres Gimenez each had three hits as AL Central-leading Cleveland (76-65) moved 11 games over .500 for the first time since September 2020.
With Amed Rosario aboard after a leadoff single, Ramirez drove a 3-1 slider from Ryan Tepera (4-3) deep to right for his 27th homer. The All-Star third baseman also leads the Guardians with 111 RBIs.
“In reality, we’re in a rebuild, but it’s a bit different when you have very talented players that know how to play the game the right way,” Ramirez said. “It’s fun to see them, and as long as we keep playing our way, it’s going to be fun to watch.”
The Guardians opened a four-game lead over the Chicago White Sox, who lost 3-0 to last-place Colorado. The win streak for Cleveland matches a season high.
Slugger Mike Trout’s home run steak ended at seven games, one shy of the record, in the Angels’ 3-1 loss to the Guardians on Tuesday in Cleveland.
“Ramirez does a little bit of everything and he’s really tough to pitch to,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “That’s why I walked him two or three times in this series already, but in that situation, you can’t put the winning run on second in Rosario.”
Trevor Stephan (5-4) recorded three outs for the win, and James Karinchak worked the ninth for his third save. Emmanuel Clase, who has an MLB-best 35 saves, was unavailable after pitching four times in the previous five days.
Luis Rengifo led off the ninth with a double for the Angels, but Karinchak retired the next three batters.
“We’re trying not to overdo people, but the way we play, there’s a lot of close games,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “We’re trying to manage about nine different things with our pitching staff.”
Moniak went deep in the third for his third homer since he was acquired in an Aug. 2 trade with Philadelphia. Moniak was selected by the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft.
The Angels opened a 3-1 lead when Moniak scored on Trout’s base hit in the fifth.
Cleveland got one back in the bottom half when Gimenez singled and scored on Austin Hedges’ double-play ball. Gimenez singled again in the seventh and scored the tying run on Tyler Freeman’s double off Jimmy Herget.
“There are no better veteran leaders, in my opinion, than the guys in our clubhouse,” Freeman said. “Jose is a fireball and someone to look up to, and all of them make us feel comfortable on the field or on the bus.”
Cleveland right-hander Cal Quantrill, who is 12-0 in his career at Progressive Field, allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings.
“I know there have been some really special players this year, but Jose deserves to be in the [MVP] discussion,” Quantrill said. “At least in the discussion at the end of the year.”
Clayton Kershaw tossed seven scoreless innings and the Dodgers’ offense was steady, helping the team clinch the National League West title on Tuesday.
Gonzalez opened the scoring with a solo shot in the second for his second homer in two days. The rookie has four homers and 11 RBIs over his last nine games.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval pitched 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball. The left-hander has not given up more than two earned runs in eight straight starts.
The Angels are 1-21 against the Guardians on the road since 2015, losing 11 straight.
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