CLEVELAND – Cleveland rookie Will Brennan kept the Guardians going with two clutch hits. And José Ramírez closed it out with some deft baserunning.
Ramírez slid past catcher Cal Raleigh‘s tag to score the winning run in the 12th inning, giving Cleveland a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Teoscar Hernández’s two-out single gave the Mariners a 6-5 lead in the top of the 12th, but Seattle’s bullpen faltered again.
Ramírez beat the throw from second baseman Kolten Wong on Josh Bell‘s ground ball. Amed Rosario began the inning at second base and Penn Murfee (1-2) walked Ramírez intentionally. The runners moved up on Murfee’s wild pickoff throw to second base. Josh Naylor‘s groundout tied the game.
“It’s so fun to watch,” starting pitcher Zach Plesac said. “Our style of baseball is unmatched. It’s always in the back of our minds that we’re going to come back and win.”
Brennan tied the game twice – with a two-out, two-run double in the ninth and an RBI single in the 11th.
“I can’t really describe that – it’s crazy,” Brennan said of his late-game production. “That was a huge win. When you put the ball in play you’re never really out of it.”
Brennan came into Sunday batting .182 in limited duty and was 0 for 3 going into the ninth.
“I was thrilled for him,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s had some tough at-bats. For a young kid, facing closers, not playing every day like he’s used to and he is always ready.”
The Guardians loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th, but JB Bukauskas, called up from Triple-A Tacoma before the game, struck out Rosario looking on a 3-2 pitch.
Jarred Kelenic‘s one-out double and Wong’s sacrifice fly in the 11th gave Seattle a 5-3 lead. Andrés Giménez’s double off Bukauskas scored automatic runner Josh Naylor in the bottom of the inning. Following a groundout, Brennan bounced a single to right through a drawn-in infield.
Rookie Tim Herrin (1-0) recorded the final out in the 12th for his first major league win.
Seattle starter George Kirby allowed one run in six innings. Raleigh hit a two-run homer in the first.
Tommy La Stella’s RBI groundout added a run in the ninth, but Matt Brash couldn’t hold the 3-1 lead. Naylor walked and Giménez singled with one out. Bell struck out, but Brennan hit a 2-0 pitch over the head of right fielder Hernández, scoring both runners.
The season series between the teams is already over with the Guardians winning four of seven.
Plesac allowed two runs in six innings. He remained in the game after being struck in the back of the right shoulder by Hernández’s line drive in the fourth.
Seattle won the first two games of the series after going 2-5 on its opening homestand.
“We swung the bats better this series,” manager Scott Servais said. “Up and down the lineup we’ve got a lot of guys starting to click. We’re capable of playing much better than we did at home.”
Mariners: Andrés Muñoz, who led AL relievers in strikeouts last season, was put on the 15-day injured list because of a right deltoid strain.
Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will pitch the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday night.
Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will start against the New York Yankees in the first of a three-game series Monday night at Progressive Field.