Tigers hope to solve Guardians’ Jose Ramirez

Field Level Media

July 10, 2024 at 7:44 am.

The American League Central-leading Cleveland Guardians have played two very different games in Detroit this week.

After getting shut out 1-0 by the Tigers on Monday, the Guardians pulled out a 9-8, 10-inning win on Tuesday. The teams will play the third game of the four-game series on Wednesday.

In the latest contest, Cleveland squandered a 6-0 lead, then scored twice in the top of the 10th. The Tigers scored a run and left two baserunners stranded in the bottom of the inning.

“We hadn’t played a game like that yet,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “For us to come out on top at the end was huge.”

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez had three hits and was intentionally walked three times. Josh Naylor had three hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in four runs.

Ramirez logged his first multi-hit game since June 29.

“He has a couple of games where he struggles and everybody’s saying, ‘What’s going on with Jose?’ But he looked like himself tonight from the beginning,” Vogt said. “He’s never far off and he got some pitches to hit and didn’t miss them.

“And (Josh Naylor) just continues to come up clutch in these big moments.”

Cleveland’s middle-of-the-order bats will face one of the Tigers’ better starters on Wednesday, weather permitting.

Detroit right-hander Reese Olson (3-8, 3.22 ERA) has received better run support in recent outings, resulting in two wins and a pair of no-decisions.

Olson also has improved his strikeout totals, as he has fanned eight or more batters in three of his past four starts. In his most recent outing, he held the Cincinnati Reds to two runs (one earned) and three hits in 5 2/3 innings en route to a win on Friday.

“I have confidence in five pitches to throw whenever,” Olson said. “If I don’t have great feel for one on a certain night, I have to lean on the others.”

Olson was unlucky to get a no-decision when he faced Cleveland on May 8. He allowed two runs (one earned) and one hit in six innings. The Tigers wound up losing that contest 5-4 in 10 innings.

Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee (7-3, 3.67 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday after he had a string of three consecutive victories snapped in his most recent start. Bibee gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings vs. San Francisco on Friday. He had given up just four runs (three earned) in 18 innings over his previous three outings.

Bibee got into early trouble against the Giants, surrendering three first-inning runs.

“Going into the second inning at (32) pitches is not a good recipe to go deep into a game,” Bibee said. “I really just didn’t throw strikes in the first and the pitch count was way too up there.”

Bibee had a similar outing against Detroit in the same game that Olson pitched. He lasted just four innings after giving up four runs and five hits, including a two-run single to Colt Keith. Overall, Bibee has faced the Tigers three times, posting an 0-2 record and a 7.82 ERA.

Keith has been the Tigers’ hottest hitter this month. The 22-year-old rookie has four home runs in his last six games, including a two-run shot on Tuesday.