ARLINGTON, Texas (AP/WJW) — Cal Quantrill won his career-best 10th consecutive decision, rookie Oscar Gonzalez hit two home runs and the Cleveland Guardians moved closer to clinching the AL Central, beating the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Saturday night.
The Guardians won for the 17th time in 20 games. They began the day with a magic number of three for winning the division. And now, with the Chicago White Sox losing, that number has shrunk to just one game.
Quantrill (14-6) hasn’t lost in 15 starts dating to July 5 while recording a career high in wins. He allowed one run, a solo homer to Marcus Semien in the third inning. He struck out four and walked three.
Quantrill’s winning streak is the longest active string in the major leagues. It’s the longest by a Cleveland pitcher since Mike Clevinger ran off 10 consecutive wins in 2019.
Both of Gonzalez’s homers were leadoff shots, in the fifth and ninth innings, giving him 11. It was his second multi-homer game of the season.
Andres Gimenez also hit a solo homer, in the seventh off Brock Burke (7-4) to give Quantrill a 2-1 lead.
Emmanuel Clase earned his major-league-best 39th save in 43 opportunities despite giving up a solo homer to rookie Sam Huff in the ninth.
The Guardians are 61-3 when leading after seven innings.
Amed Rosario drove home Myles Straw with Cleveland’s third run in the eighth with a ground-rule double to right-center into the home bullpen.
Texas starter Glenn Otto gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings, two outs short of equaling the most innings pitched in his two-year big-league career.
Otto walked the game’s first hitter, Steven Kwan, on four pitches, then retired the next 12 batters before giving up Gonzalez’s homer leading off the fifth inning.
In the sixth, Rosario’s major league-best ninth triple to the base of the right-field wall came with one out. Otto struck out Jose Ramirez, and Burke came on and retired left-handed hitting Josh Naylor on a grounder.
Guardians: RHP Zach Plesac (broken hand) pitched five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday, likely the final step before he’s activated. He broke his hand earlier this month in Seattle when he punched the ground after giving up a home run.
Guardians RHP Aaron Civale (2-6, 5.29 ERA) allowed two runs in five innings last Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. He’d come off the injured list for his first start since Aug. 28.
Rangers rookie LHP Cole Ragans (0-2, 5.40) will make his eighth big league start with no-decisions in the last four.