Pilkington gets first major league win, Guardians sweep KC

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians
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CLEVELAND – Rookie Konnor Pilkington struck out eight in five innings for his first major league win and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Pilkington, making his third career start and sixth appearance, worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth. The left-hander is taking the rotation spot of injured Aaron Civale.

Jose Ramirez had a run-scoring groundout in the fifth for his major league leading 52nd RBI. Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez and Richie Palacios also drove in runs for Cleveland.

Kansas City has dropped 11 of 13 and has the worst record in the majors at 16-33.

Brad Keller (1-6) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.

Pilkington (1-0) struck out his first four hitters. He stranded two in the second and one in the third before dodging major trouble in the fourth.

The inning began when Salvador Perez walked and MJ Melendez singled. Pilkington struck out Hunter Dozier, but Carlos Santana‘s sharply hit single to right loaded the bases.

Pitching coach Carl Willis visited Pilkington on the mound to help him regroup. Emmanuel Rivera struck out and Nicky Lopez grounded out to end the inning.

Pilkington began the season in Cleveland’s bullpen amid expanded rosters. He started in a doubleheader and was sent to Triple-A Columbus and was recalled when Civale was injured on May 20.

The Royals, who have a day off Thursday, completed a stretch of 26 games in 25 days.

STREAKS

Andrew Benintendi had three hits and has reached base in 23 straight games. … Cleveland rookie Oscar Gonzalez was 0 for 4 after hitting safely in his first five major league games. His streak ended with a deep fly out to right with the bases loaded in the seventh.

SEE YOU LATER

The Royals don’t return to Cleveland until late September for a stretch of six days. The teams complete the regular season with six games from Sept. 30-Oct. 5. Kansas City was scheduled to play three games in Cleveland to begin the season but those had to be rescheduled because of the lockout.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: C Cam Gallagher (left hamstring strain) caught five innings in his first game on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday and was hitless in two at-bats. He has missed 28 games.

Guardians: RHP James Karinchak (strained shoulder) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday night. He was injured during spring training.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Brady Singer (2-0, 2.49 ERA), coming off a win over Minnesota in his last start, will open a three-game home series against Houston on Friday night.

Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (12-3, 3.19 ERA) will pitch the opener of a three-game series in Baltimore on Friday night. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner allowed one run in eight innings Detroit in his last start.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.