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May 4, 2024 8:27 am

Ben Lively aims to lead Guardians past Angels

Ben Lively

Ben Lively has been a pleasant surprise on the mound during his infancy with the Cleveland Guardians.

Meanwhile, Reid Detmers has hit a rut following a stellar start to his season for the Los Angeles Angels.

Lively will look to remain effective while trying to help the host Guardians avoid a third straight loss in Saturday evening’s second contest of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

Pitching for his fourth team during a major league career that began in 2017, Lively (0-1, 2.30 ERA) already has made the most of his opportunity with Cleveland. The right-hander didn’t make his Guardians’ debut until April 17 after dealing with a viral illness but has yielded four runs in 15 2/3 innings this season.

“He’s not going to beat himself,” Guardians pitching coach Carl Willis said. “I think his confidence in who he is and what he does, and not trying to do more, is really beneficial for him.”

Lively, 32, lasted 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision Sunday at Atlanta. However, he gave up only one run, plus four hits and two walks while striking out five.

He hasn’t faced the Angels since a one-inning relief appearance in April 2019, while a member of the Kansas City Royals. But he will try to keep Los Angeles in check following its 6-0 victory in Friday’s series opener. With that loss, the Guardians have dropped six of nine games since recording a five-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, Jose Soriano threw six solid innings Friday and Mickey Moniak hit a three-run homer for the Angels, who won for only the third time in 14 contests and snapped a four-game road skid.

“We’ve just got to keep looking to move forward,” Moniak, who recorded just his second multi-hit game of the season, told Bally Sports West.

“Taking the first game here is good, and we’ve just got to keep it rolling into (Saturday).”

With two more hits Friday, Los Angeles’ Luis Rengifo is batting .413 in his last 14 games. Teammate Nolan Schanuel is hitting .388 in his last 13 following Friday’s three-hit night, which included a solo homer.

However, Detmers (3-2, 3.12 ERA) has regressed following a sensational start to his third extensive major league season. In going 3-0 during his first four 2024 starts, Detmers allowed three earned runs over 22 2/3 innings. However, the left-hander has given up nine runs and 15 hits over 12 innings in his last two starts.

During Sunday’s 11-5 home loss to Minnesota, Detmers allowed season highs of five runs and nine hits through five innings.

“Just kind of didn’t lose command, but lost feel for certain pitches,” he said. “The slider didn’t feel good.

“I just tried using it and kept leaving it up or bouncing it … not competitive pitches.”

Detmers is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in four career starts against the Guardians. Meanwhile, Cleveland stars Jose Ramirez and Steven Kwan are a combined 6-for-13 vs. Detmers.

With two of Cleveland’s six hits Friday, Kwan is batting .356 for the season.

–Field Level Media

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