Andrés Giménez drove in the go-ahead run with the bases-loaded in the ninth inning, Oscar Gonzalez hit his first major league homer and scored the winning run, and the Cleveland Guardians rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
The surging Guardians won 15 of their last 19 games and took out the Dodgers’ two of three. They were just one game ahead of the AL Central leader Minnesota by 7 1/2 games on May 29, but will now begin a three game series against the Twins starting Tuesday.
Cleveland was missing AL RBI leader José Ramírez for the second straight game due to right thumb discomfort.
Shane Bieber was born an hour south of Dodger Stadium in Orange County and struck out nine batters in just 6 1/3 innings. The Guardians are undefeated in the last 11 games where the right-hander has been on the field.
Eli Morgan (3-2), won the game and Emmanuel Clase retired all the Dodgers in the ninth to earn his 15th save.
Trea Turner’s hitting streak for the Dodgers was extended to 12 games when Trea Turner hit a home run and Freddie Freeman scored a homer. Andrew Heaney made his debut in two months and went five innings.
Gonzalez was walked by Craig Kimbrel (0-3), in the ninth. Josh Naylor scored a run with a fly ball down the right field line. Steven Kwan was deliberately walked to load bases before Gimenez’s hit the middle, with Los Angeles infield drawn in.
Ernie Clement, who already had two hits, added an insurance-run with a sacrifice fly in order to score Naylor.
Cleveland took an early lead of 1-0 before the Dodgers tied the game in the second with a Gavin Lux RBI double. Freeman opened the third with a solo homer to the right, his seventh of the season.
Gonzalez tied it at 2 in sixth when he hit a low slider by Heaney and pushed it over the fence in right center. Gonzalez has reached in 18 out of 22 games since his May 26 major league debut.
The Dodgers regained a 3-2 advantage in the seventh after Eddy Alvarez came home when second baseman Giménez threw wide of the bag at first on Turner’s infield single.
Cleveland rallied to tie the game in the eighth thanks to Richie Palacios’ pinch-hit double down the right-field line.
Heaney, who was sidelined for two months with left shoulder discomfort, gave up two earned runs and allowed five hits in five innings. Heaney also struck out seven batters and walked one. After Gonzalez’s home run, and a walk by Naylor, his 77-pitch day came to an end in the sixth.
Bieber allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. Bieber is now at the seventh position in his 13 season starts.
Alvarez’s inexperience in outfield was the main reason Cleveland scored in the second inning.
A routine fly ball by Oscar Mercado was hit to the Dodgers right fielder. It led off the second base for a two-base error. Alvarez misread Clement’s ball, and the ball fell in front of Alvarez for a single.
Austin Hedges then followed with a sacrifice fly that brought in Mercado to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Alvarez took over in right field when Mookie Betts was put on the injured list for a cracked right right rib. Alvarez was a minor league pitcher who had only played seven innings. Alvarez was an infielder who came up through the White Sox, Marlins and Dodgers before signing with the Dodgers.
Guardians: OF/DH Franmil Ries (right hamstring tightness), has been discharged from Triple-A Columbus. He is expected to rejoin the Minnesota team for the next series.
Guardians: Three games begin Tuesday in Minnesota.
Dodgers – Start a nine game road trip in Cincinnati Tuesday with RHP Tony Gonsolin (8.0, 1.42 ERA) on pitch.