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May 1, 2024 11:27 pm

Steven Kwan’s RBI double in 10th lifts Guardians past Astros

Guardians, Astros

Steven Kwan produced an RBI double in the top of the 10th inning before Emmanuel Clase recorded his ninth save as the Cleveland Guardians squeezed out a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

Kwan finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. He followed a leadoff walk from Brayan Rocchio with a double to left field off Astros reliever Shawn Dubin (0-1) that scored pinch-runner Gabrial Arias with the go-ahead run. Rocchio finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored.

Clase needed only five pitches to retire the side in the bottom of the 10th. He struck out Joey Loperfido to open the frame before getting a game-ending double play when Mauricio Dubon lifted a fly ball to left that Kwan snagged before doubling off Astros catcher Victor Caratini at second base. Caratini rounded third and headed home, appearing to think the ball would drop.

Astros right-hander Justin Verlander and his counterpart with Cleveland, right-hander Triston McKenzie, matched quality starts and set the stage for the bullpens to decide the outcome.

Verlander surrendered a base hit in each of his first three innings and walked the first two batters he faced, Andres Gimenez and Jose Ramirez, to open the fourth. On each occasion, he escaped unscathed despite allowing the leadoff batter to reach safely in three of the frames.

Caratini provided an assist in the third when he erased Rocchio trying to swipe second base for the second out of the inning after Rocchio reached via a one-out single. Verlander helped his cause in the fourth when he induced David Fry to roll into an inning-ending double play that snuffed a potential Guardians uprising.

But when Will Brennan opened the top of the fifth with his fourth home run, a 377-foot shot to right-center, Verlander found himself in a 1-0 hole. The Guardians doubled that margin when Rocchio worked a two-out walk and scored when Kwan tripled to the right-field corner.

Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts over seven innings.

McKenzie recorded six strikeouts over seven innings, recording 14 swings-and-misses on the strength of a quality curveball. He faced just one batter over the minimum through five innings, benefitting from inning-ending double plays in the third and fifth. But the Astros got to McKenzie in the sixth inning and again in the seventh to pull even.

Jose Altuve drove in Dubon with a one-out single in the sixth that cut the two-run deficit in half. Kyle Tucker led off the seventh with a 422-foot blast to right-center, his eighth home run knotting the score at 2-2.

–Field Level Media

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