Averaging just 2.9 runs per game in May, the Cleveland Guardians will attempt to kickstart their offense when they open a three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Cleveland’s scoring output this month, 70 runs, is tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the lowest in the majors. Despite scoring just nine runs during a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, the Guardians were still able to muster a pair of wins.
Jose Ramirez hit a walk-off, two-run double to give Cleveland a 4-3 victory on Sunday, and the star third baseman is hoping his late-game heroics can give his team some momentum.
“This is a reminder that this is a hard game,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “It’s not always going to go our way. But this is a long season. We got to prepare because something’s going to happen, positive or negative, but we have to be ready for all of those.”
With the win, the Guardians improved to 4-8 over their past 12 games.
Baltimore right-hander Tyler Wells (3-1, 3.47 ERA) will attempt to slow Cleveland when he makes his 11th appearance (10th start) of the season on Monday.
In his most recent outing, Wells took a no-decision against the New York Yankees on Wednesday. He allowed five runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five innings. The long ball remains an issue for Wells, as he surrendered three and has now given up nine over his past five starts.
“Homers have definitely been a problem for me,” Wells said after the outing against New York. “That’s something we will continue to address. I’m going to take that time between this next start and really work on that.”
In three career appearances (one start) against the Guardians, Wells is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA.
Left-hander Logan Allen (1-2, 3.31 ERA) will oppose Wells after taking a loss against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Allen allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings while walking one and fanning four.
Though Allen’s last outing resulted in defeat, Cleveland manager Terry Francona came away impressed with the 24-year-old rookie’s development.
“He continues to show not just the poise but major league pitches,” Francona said. “He controlled the running, the game doesn’t speed up very much. There’s a lot of good things besides just the pitching.”
Allen has never faced the Orioles, whose .421 slugging percentage ranks fifth in the American League.
One of the top contributors in Baltimore’s lineup has been Austin Hays, who is hitting .444 (12-for-27) with a home run and seven RBIs over his past seven games. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple and a go-ahead single in the eighth inning on Sunday to give the Orioles a 3-2 win over the visiting Rangers.
Baltimore had dropped the first two games of the three-game set against Texas.
“He is playing some great baseball,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Hays. “I like the way he’s using the whole field right now. The way he plays defense is special. And he’s taking great at-bats for us.”
–Field Level Media