DETROIT (AP) — Rookie Oscar Gonzalez kicked things off with a two-out single in the 10th inning and the Cleveland Guardians extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Thursday.
Gonzalez’s hit against Gregory Soto (2-7) allowed the Guardians to escape after squandering a two-run lead in the ninth. Cleveland is 9-2 in overtime.
“We have a lot of guys in our lineup who are very good at bringing guys in, bringing guys in,” said reliever Bryan Shaw. “We are not a team that hits every circuit. We get hit after hit. We do the little things on offense to get the guys in. You put a guy second and we’re really good at bringing that guy in.
Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan opened the ninth by allowing a walk, a single and Jonathan Schoop’s RBI double that put Detroit up 3-2. Enyel De Los Santos (3-0) came in with one out and gave up on Eric Haase’s equalizing defender pick.
Shaw worked the 10th for his first save of the season.
The AL Central-leading Guardians increased their lead over inactive Minnesota to 1 1/2 games.
Cleveland starter Zach Plesac held Detroit to one run and four hits while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
“It’s real right now. We have a lot going on right now, you can tell” said Plesac. “We have a winning streak – the guys know how to win and we play together and finally strike. Looks like everything is falling into place right now.
The Guardians staff posted four quality starts during the streak.
“You’ve got all these guys getting better and better as they get older and more mature,” said Shaw. “With more games under their belt, they learn how to throw, they learn how to attack guys and how to manage games. It’s great to watch.
Rookie Steven Kwan hit a solo home run and Andres Gimenez scored two Cleveland runs.
Javier Baez hit his team-leading 11th homer for the Tigers, but also had two mistakes at shortstop. Willi Castro had three hits and scored a run.
Detroit starter Garrett Hill allowed three runs, one earned and four hits in five innings.
The Tigers have lost four in a row and 10 of 12. Their batters have struck out 14 times, compared to two for the Guardians.
“You have to put the ball in play” said manager AJ Hinch. “If you look at both teams in games that are close, it’s just a lot more pressure when you put the ball in play. We didn’t put as much pressure on them as they put on us. .
A Baez throwing error gave Cleveland their first run in the second inning.
The Guardians got another unearned run in the fourth after an error by third baseman Willi Castro. Luke Maile led Gimenez with a two-out single.
Kwan hit his third homer this season to lead the fifth. Detroit broke through on the home run two out of Baez in the sixth.
Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (Achilles strain) had two hits and two RBIs in six at-bats while starting a rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. He is expected to continue the rehabilitation mission for at least a week. … RHP Michael Pineda (right triceps tendonitis) will begin a rehab assignment in Toledo.
Goalies: RHP Peyton Battenfield will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus and RHP James Karinchak will be placed on the shortlist. Karinchak can’t make it to Toronto for this weekend’s series because he’s not vaccinated.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo and start Game 1 of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday. RHP Luis Castillo has been opted for Toledo. Norris, who was traded from Detroit to Milwaukee last year, was designated for a posting by the Chicago Cubs last month. The Tigers signed him to a minor league contract on July 26.
Goaltenders: RHP Cal Quantrill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) will start Game 1 of a three-game series in Toronto on Friday. Quantrill pitched six scoreless innings against Houston on Saturday while notching his fourth win in his last six starts.
Tigers: Norris (0-4, 6.90 ERA) will start the series opener Friday at the White Sox. He’s made two starts for Toledo since signing a minor league contract, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He has a career 4.59 ERA in 139 games (77 starts) with Detroit.