Gonzalez homers twice, Guardians hold on to beat Twins 7-6


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Oscar Gonzalez hit two home runs and drove in five runs, and Austin Hedges added a solo…

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Oscar Gonzalez hit two home runs and drove in five runs, and Austin Hedges added a solo homer as the Cleveland Guardians held on for a 7-6 win against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

Gonzalez, the surprise rookie, had four hits and Cal Quantrill (12-5) won his eighth straight decision. Cleveland scored the first seven runs of the game, including four in the first inning after the start was delayed 1:16 due to rain.

Minnesota’s Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer off Guardians reliever James Karinchak in the eighth, but Karinchak stranded the tying run at second to end the inning and Emmanuel Clase finished for his 32nd save.

The Guardians extended their lead in the American League Central to 1 1/2 games over the Chicago White Sox and 2 1/2 over Minnesota. The Guardians and Twins play seven more times over the next two weeks.

Quantrill gave up two runs — one earned — and nine hits in five innings. The Guardians have held on to first despite losing nine of their previous 13 games.

Minnesota starter Dylan Bundy (8-7) surrendered season-highs with seven runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Twins have lost seven of nine and fell to third place behind Chicago, which rallied to beat Oakland.

Friday’s game looked like two struggling teams instead of a matchup of teams fighting for the postseason. There were multiple miscues from each team and Cleveland had two errors. It had plenty of drama, too.

Correa had four hits, homering for the third straight game, and driving in four runs during the comeback.

Before Correa’s homer off Karinchak, Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli had umpires check the pitcher for illegal substances. Karinchak was touching the back of his hand and going to the rosin bag before every pitch. Home plate umpire Ted Barrett did a full check of Karinchak, even running his hand through his hair, and determined there were no issues.

Karinchak had his scoreless inning streak of 24 2/3 innings snapped and nearly hit Jose Miranda with a pitch after Correa’s homer.


Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco (left knee inflammation) was on the field and played catch Friday without issue and manager Rocco Baldelli said he hopes to get Polanco back from the injured list “sooner than later.” … RHP Tyler Mahle (right shoulder inflammation) is doing strengthening exercises and hasn’t progressed to playing catch yet. Baldelli said the team hasn’t closed the door on Mahle returning this season. … OF Byron Buxton (low-grade right hip strain) is showing improvement but won’t be activated during the current series.


RHP Triston McKenzie (9-11, 3.18 ERA) starts for Cleveland in the second game of the series Saturday night. Minnesota counters with RHP Chris Archer (2-7, 4.47). McKenzie is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season. Archer allowed one run in four innings in his one start against the Guardians this season.


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