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Jun 6, 2024 3:09 am

After rainout, Guardians seek shortened sweep of Royals

Guardians, Royals

The Cleveland Guardians got the best of Kansas City’s ace on Tuesday. Following a weather-related interruption in the series, the Guardians will try to do the same against another of the Royals’ strong arms.

Looking to continue their history of success against Brady Singer, the Guardians will aim to sweep the abbreviated two-game series against the visiting Royals on Thursday.

Kansas City’s Seth Lugo entered his Tuesday start with a 9-1 record and a 1.72 ERA, but after his teammates staked him to a 5-0 lead through 3 1/2 innings, the Guardians’ bats woke up.

Josh Naylor’s two-run homer highlighted a three-run fourth. Tyler Freeman tied it in the seventh with a two-run blast, and Cleveland went ahead on shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.’s throwing error that allowed three runs to score later in the inning and sent the club to a 40th victory within the first 60 games for the third time since 1995.

“These guys don’t quit,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “That’s just a testament to who they are.”

The teams’ scheduled Wednesday game was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on Aug. 26.

Winners in 16 of 20 overall and amid a 19-4 stretch at home, the Guardians are the third team to reach 40 wins this season. Cleveland owns a five-game lead in the AL Central over second-place Kansas City, which has lost seven of nine.

The focus now shifts to taking on Singer (4-2, 2.63 ERA), who is 2-2 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 career appearances (11 starts) against the Guardians. The right-hander has allowed 12 runs and 20 hits in 10 2/3 innings over his past two starts at Cleveland.

Jose Ramirez is one of several Cleveland players who have fared well against Singer over the years, going 10-for-23 (.435) with two homers and two doubles. Steven Kwan is 7-for-18 (.389) vs. Singer, while Will Brennan and Bo Naylor are a combined 10-for-17 (.588) against him.

Singer, though, has allowed more than two earned runs only twice in his 11 starts this season. He yielded a total of three runs (two earned) over 11 innings in his past two outings — vs. the Oakland Athletics on May 19 and at the Tampa Bay Rays on May 25. He missed his most recent turn in the Royals’ rotation due to illness but appears ready to return and help his club bounce back from a frustrating defeat.

“Just got to move on and get back at it (Wednesday),” said Witt, whose two homers and four RBIs on Tuesday were overshadowed by his costly throwing error.

“We’re both going to be competitive teams and (the season series will) be a battle and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Witt is batting .378 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in his past 17 games. He went 1-for-2 with a walk last season against Tanner Bibee (4-1, 3.74 ERA), who is scheduled to start for Cleveland on Thursday.

The Guardians are 11-1 this season in games started by Bibee, who is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his past four starts. He allowed one run, three hits and a walk while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings during a 7-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

“He just bears down,” Vogt said. “He’s got unbelievable pitch ability.”

He will hope for offensive support from Ramirez, who recorded a run-scoring single on Tuesday. The slugger is batting .330 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 27 games over the past month.

–Field Level Media

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