For seven innings, the Guardians were held scoreless on Wednesday afternoon as the Twins took a 2-0 lead.
But in this head to head matchup with the American League Central Division leading Twins, the Guardians would not quit.
In fact, they scored 1 run in the 8th, and 1 in the 9th for the tie.
Then in the 10th inning, Kole Calhoun went yard and the Guardians got 3 runs to get the 5-2 victory.
Kole Calhoun homers for the lead in extras! pic.twitter.com/hl098W0a5K
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 30, 2023
In the 8th inning, Steven Kwan drove in the Guardians first run of the game with a line drive single to left field.
In the 9th inning, the Guardians started a rally as Andres Gimenez walked and then scored on a wild pitch with two out to tie the game at 2-2.
After the Guardians tied the game, Trevor Stephan entered the game to pitch the 9th inning.
And pitch Stephan did. Stephan was clutch! He struck out the side!
The top of the 10th started with Bo Naylor on second base for the Guardians.
Myles Straw then moved Naylor to third on a sacrifice bunt.
With two out, Ramirez was intentionally walked.
The Twins then changed pitchers and Ramirez stole second base.
So now, the Guardians had two outs and Calhoun at the plate with runners on second and third.
On a 3-0 pitch, Calhoun hit the fourth pitch of the at bat 433 feet over the centerfield fence for a dramatic 3-run home run to give the Guardians a 5-2 lead.
In post-game comments, Calhoun talked about hitting a 3-0 pitch for a home run.
“Just looking for something over the middle of the plate,” said Calhoun. “Especially with guys in scoring position, you change the scoreboard. Got a good pitch I could handle, put a good swing on it.”
Guardians Manager Terry Francona expanded on the philosophy of having players swing at 3-0 pitches.
“Everybody has a different philosophy, and ours is if you can change the game with a swing or if the outcome is better than a walk (then go ahead and swing),” said Guardians Manager Terry Francona.
After the Guardians took a 5-2 lead in the top of the tenth, pitching the bottom of the tenth for the Guardians was closer Emmanuel Clase.
Clase retired the side in order as he picked up his 36th save of the season. Trevor Stephan got the victory for the Guardians.
Stephan is now 6-4 on the season, with a 2.78 ERA. Leading the Guardians offensively was Steven Kwan (2-5) and Will Brennan (2-4).
With the victory the Cleveland Guardians move to 64-70 on the season and they are now 5 games behind the Twins for first place in the American League Central Division.
The Guardians now return home to Progressive Field to begin a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.