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Jun 4, 2024 9:22 pm

Guardians escape five-run hole, dump Royals

royals, guardians

Tyler Freeman’s two-run, tying homer highlighted a five-run seventh inning and the Cleveland Guardians rallied from a five-run deficit to down the visiting Kansas City Royals 8-5 on Tuesday night.

Cleveland trailed 5-3 in the seventh with Royals ace Seth Lugo still on the mound. Will Brennan opened with a single and Freeman chased Lugo by golfing a breaking pitch into the left field stands to make it 5-5.

Later in the inning, the Guardians loaded the bases against relievers Sam Long (0-1) and Angel Zerpa. With two outs, Cleveland’s David Fry hit a chopper to Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who failed to touch second base for a force while throwing wild to first — allowing all three runners to score.

Kansas City couldn’t answer and wasted a pair of two-run homers by Witt in the opener of a three-game set, losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Lugo, who entered 9-1 with a 1.72 ERA, allowed a season-high five runs with six hits in six-plus innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie also allowed five runs, on nine hits and two walks, and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings. Cade Smith (3-0) got the win and Emmanuel Clase recorded his 19th save for the AL Central-leading Guardians, who have won 16 of 20 and became the third team to reach 40 victories.

Kansas City’s Hunter Renfroe led off the third with an opposite field homer into the right field seats. Maikel Garcia recorded a one-out single and stole second before Witt followed with a blast over the 19-foot-high wall in left-center field for a 3-0 Royals lead.

The combination of Garcia and Witt came through again in the fourth. After the former singled, the latter went deep again.

Lugo retired the first nine batters he faced but ran into trouble in the fourth. Steven Kwan hit a leadoff double to right and eventually scored on Jose Ramirez’s single. Josh Naylor then delivered a two-run homer into the left field stands.

–Field Level Media

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