By Mandy Bell
CLEVELAND — Slow and scrappy wins the race. That’s at least the motto this Guardians team has seemed to follow all season.
Once again, the Guardians waited until late in Friday’s series opener against the Twins to attack and took advantage of a simple mishap, as Ernie Clement channeled his best Kenny Lofton impression by scoring the go-ahead run from second base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth that led to a 4-3 victory at Progressive Field.
The win not only moved the Guardians another game ahead of the third-place Twins in the American League Central (now five games up), but it was also a critical victory for Cleveland, as the club officially has taken the season series. In the case of a tie between the Guardians and Twins for first place at the end of the season, the nod now goes to the Guardians.
The Guardians’ offense came out flat-footed and didn’t pick up a hit until the fourth inning. After Thursday’s loss to the second-place White Sox, it seemed like an easy time for fans to panic with the division on the line and only 2 1/2 weeks remaining in the regular season. But as the Guardians have done all year, the club made a comeback in the seventh, as Amed Rosario, who’s shined for the team all season, smacked a game-tying, two-run single.