09/30 20:53 CDT Ramrez homers, Clase gets 40th save as Guardians beat KC
Ramrez homers, Clase gets 40th save as Guardians beat KC
By BRIAN DULIK
CLEVELAND (AP) --- Jos Ramrez hit a three-run homer and Emmanuel Clase closed
for his major league-leading 40th save in the Cleveland Guardians' 6-3 victory
over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Ramrez put AL Central champion Cleveland ahead for good at 4-3 in the sixth
inning with his 29th home run of the season. The 404-foot blast to right off
Brady Singer (10-5) gave the All-Star third baseman 121 RBIs --- second in the
AL behind New York's Aaron Judge.
Austin Hedges followed with an RBI single, snapping an 0-for-36 slump, and
Myles Straw drove in Will Brennan to make it 6-3. Kansas City took a 3-0 lead
into the bottom of the fifth.
Cleveland has won 10 of 11 and is a major league-best 21-4 since Sept. 5. The
Royals dropped their fourth in a row as the teams opened a six-game series to
end the regular season.
Aaron Civale (4-6) threw six innings, allowing three runs --- two earned --- in
winning his second straight start. The right-hander gave up a two-run homer to
Drew Waters and a solo shot to Michael Massey.
Clase worked the ninth for his 40th save in 44 opportunities, moving him three
saves ahead of Atlanta's Kenley Jansen.
Singer had his first loss since Aug. 3, giving up six runs in 5 2/3 innings.
The right-hander was 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his previous nine starts.
Waters hit a two-run homer in the third, and Massey went deep in the fifth.
Andrs Gimnez led off the fifth with Cleveland's first hit, then scored on
Brennan's single to cut Kansas City's lead to 3-1.
Cleveland has not played a six-game series since 1963 against Washington. The
Royals' only other six-game set was in 1976 against Boston.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan have been
major contributors all season, but are unlikely to beat out Seattle outfielder
Julio Rodrguez for the Rookie of the Year award.
Witt leads AL rookies with 80 RBIs, 57 extra-base hits and 28 stolen bases,
while Kwan ranks first with 165 hits, 88 runs and seven triples. Orioles
catcher Adley Rutschman and Astros shortstop Jeremy Pea also are making pushes
for the honor.
"The biggest thing is we're talking about young players who are ambassadors for
the game of baseball," Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. "The position
players, in particular, are pretty impressive."
Cleveland manager Terry Francona agreed, saying, "There are a pretty good
handful of them this year. And they look like they're ready to not just
survive, but maybe thrive."
Guardians: LHP Anthony Gose (Tommy John surgery) is out for the season, giving
Cleveland the opportunity to replace him on the 40-man roster with a prospect
who would become eligible for the postseason.
Royals: LHP Kris Bubic (2-13, 5.81 ERA) is tied for third in the AL in losses,
two behind leader Marco Gonzales of Seattle. Bubic has not won since July 24
against Tampa Bay, going 0-7 with a 6.14 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Guardians: RHP Zach Plesac (3-11, 4.39 ERA) will be activated from the injured
list to make his first start since breaking his right hand on Aug. 27. Plesac
is penciled in to pitch out of the bullpen in the wild-card round.
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