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Jun 7, 2024 7:11 am

Guardians bid to rebound and hand Marlins fifth straight loss

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians’ usual recipe for victory didn’t materialize Thursday.

The Guardians will look to bounce back from a rare letdown by their bullpen when they visit the Miami Marlins on Friday night for the opener of a three-game interleague series.

Logan Allen (6-3, 5.83 ERA) is slated to start for the Guardians against fellow left-hander Ryan Weathers (3-5, 3.41)

The host Guardians missed a chance to sweep a rain-shortened, two-game series against the Kansas City Royals after squandering a two-run lead in a 4-3 loss on Thursday.

The Marlins have been off since Wednesday night, when the visiting Tampa Bay Rays completed a two-game sweep with a 5-3 win that marked Miami’s fourth straight loss.

The Guardians’ relievers entered Thursday in the midst of a 24 1/3-inning scoreless streak dating to May 28. The team appeared to be in good shape to close the sweep after Jose Ramirez hit a go-ahead homer in the third inning and legged out an RBI infield single in the fourth to extend Cleveland’s lead to 3-1.

But starter Tanner Bibee exited in the sixth after he allowed a leadoff single to Freddy Fermin and walked MJ Melendez. Hunter Renfroe greeted reliever Nick Sandlin with a run-scoring double before Kyle Isbel hit into a game-tying fielder’s choice one out later. Both of those runs were charged to Bibee.

Isbel snapped the scoreless streak by Guardians relievers with two outs in the eighth inning after he delivered the go-ahead RBI single.

“That’s a long stretch of innings.” Bibee said. “It’s been unbelievable. They’ve been able to keep us afloat, and they’re going to keep doing it.”

Even with Thursday’s hiccup, the Guardians’ bullpen has a 2.38 ERA, by far the best in baseball this season. Cleveland relievers have 19 wins, second-most in the majors behind only the Milwaukee Brewers (25).

The Marlins’ bullpen stepped up in impressive fashion Wednesday night when starter Braxton Garrett was chased after giving up five runs in 2 2/3 innings. A quintet of relievers combined to allow two hits and strike out six the rest of the way.

“Every guy who came out there was just nasty and shut the door on them,” Garrett said. “It’s just frustrating to watch — not to see them do well, but to just see them do well, and I really let everybody down.”

But Miami recorded hits in just two of the final seven innings against the Rays. The Marlins have led for just three innings during their losing streak, during which they’ve been outscored 27-8 by the Texas Rangers and Rays.

For Cleveland, Allen took the defeat in his most recent start on May 29, when he tied a season high by allowing seven runs over a season-low 1 2/3 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. He earned the win in his lone start against the Marlins on April 23, 2023, when he gave up one run over six innings in his major league debut as Cleveland earned a 7-4 victory.

Weathers took the loss last Saturday after giving up four runs over six innings in the Marlins’ 7-0 loss to the Rangers. He absorbed the defeat in his only appearance against the Guardians last June 15. He permitted six runs over 1 2/3 innings as the San Diego Padres suffered an 8-6 loss.

–Field Level Media

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