CINCINNATI – José Ramírez homered, doubled and drove in three runs, Owen Miller hit two home runs and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-3 Wednesday for their fourth straight win.
Rookie Steven Kwan went 0 for 4, but drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning that put Cleveland ahead to stay as it completed a two-game sweep.
“That’s why he’s hitting second,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. "We think he’s a pretty good hitter.”
Kwan is 10 for 19 and has reached base in 19 of 29 plate appearances since making his major league debut on opening day. The 24-year-old outfielder had seen 128 pitches this season and taken 42 swings without miss before he couldn't check his swing on a 2-1 offering in the fourth inning from Nick Lodolo, who made his major league debut.
A day after hitting a grand slam with six RBIs, Ramírez again broke loose. Miller produced his first multihomer game, Oscar Mercado also homered and Myles Straw matched a career high with four hits.
“I think it’s just being comfortable and understanding what the pitchers are trying to me," Miller said. "It’s that next guy up approach. This is a good environment. It’s fun to see.”
The Guardians have scored 44 runs during their winning streak after producing just one in a combined 19 innings while losing the season’s first two games.
Ramirez went the other way with a two-run line drive to right-center field.
“You get rewarded here when you go the other way," Francona said. "I like to see guys get rewarded.”
The left-handed Kwan took four straight balls with the bases loaded to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the second. That was the third of three straight walks by the left-handed Lodolo, who also hit two batters in the inning.
Lodolo (0-1), the seventh overall selection in the 2019 draft, allowed seven hits and five runs with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie pitched three-hit ball for four shutout innings. He struck out six and walked none.
Eli Morgan (1-0) relieved and gave up one run and one hit in three innings.
The win guaranteed the Guardians a tie of the four-game season series with their in-state rivals, allowing them to retain possession of the Ohio Cup for the eighth straight season.
The Guardians cut down Kyle Farmer trying to score on Brandon Drury’s double to end the second inning. Straw played the carom off the center field wall on one hop and threw to shortstop Amed Rosario, whose relay to catcher Austin Hedges was in time to catch Farmer sliding headfirst.
Lodolo had to wait an extra 43 minutes to make his debut. The start of the game was delayed by rain.
OFF THE HOOK
Reds center fielder Jake Fraley’s diving catch of Franmil Reyes’s sinking liner with the bases loaded prevented further damage against Lodolo in the second inning.
Guardians: Lodolo hit Ramirez in the left foot with the bases loaded in the second inning.
Reds: LF Tommy Pham didn’t start after injuring his left hand in a collision with center fielder Nick Senzel on Tuesday. X-rays were negative, but Pham was scheduled for extra tests, manager David Bell said before the game. ... RHP Lucas Sims (back spasms) started and pitched one inning in his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday.
Guardians RHP Zach Plesac (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled on Friday to make his second 2022 start in Cleveland’s home opener against the Giants.
Reds The team after Wednesday's game announced RHP Luis Cessa (0-0) will start in place of LHP Reiver Sanmartin (0-1, 19.29) on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. A reason for the switch was not immediately announced.
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