OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Pinch hitter Richie Palacios hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning and the Cleveland Guardians capitalized on a key error to beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 on Saturday.
The RBIs were the first of Palacios’ career after the rookie infielder was called up from the minors on Monday.
“Amazing. Everything I ever dreamed of,” Palacios said. “I haven’t felt any added pressure. , hopefully to bring up the next man.
Steven Kwan had two hits on his return to the lineup as the Guardians won their second straight game after a seven-game losing streak. The rookie outfielder, batting .354 in his first major league season, had missed five games with hamstring pain.
A day after the two clubs combined for 17 runs and 21 hits, starters Shane Bieber of the Guardians and Cole Irvin of the A’s stayed close until the end of the innings.
It was 1-all with one out in Cleveland’s ninth with a runner-first when Oscar Mercado hit a potential double-play pitch to rookie second baseman Nick Allen, who misplayed it for an error after the ball deviated from the glove of reliever Dany Jiménez (1-1).
Palacios hit an imposing brace down a 3-1 pitch that landed near the base of the wall just past center fielder Christian Pache.
“He caught a couple of my balls like that in Triple-A, so I was like, ‘I hope he doesn’t get that one,'” Palacios said.
Guardians manager Terry Francona says Palacios is ready for the opportunity.
“He sat there for 81/2 innings and kind of watched,” Francona said. “I saw him talk to our hitters before he hit the bat. Took a nice swing and because of it everyone leaves smiling.
Nick Sandlin (1-1) struck out three batters. Emmanuel Clase worked around a two-out brace from Elvis Andrus in the ninth for his fourth save.
The Guardians are 2-7 on their 10-game road trip.
Sheldon Neuse homered for the A. Oakland, which had a season-high four double plays, lost five of seven games.
“Our at-bats with runners in scoring position could probably be a little better, which is something we’re still working on,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “You are going to cross these peaks and valleys in one season. Our throwing gives us a chance to stay in those games.
Bieber allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked one. Irvin allowed one run in six innings with four strikeouts. The southpaw has a 1.13 ERA in his last three appearances.
“Ultimately, we stuck to our strengths in a sticky situation,” Bieber said. “I just got into a rhythm and tried to go as far as I could.”
The A’s claimed RHP Domingo Tapia off Royals waivers and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Tapia went 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 34 appearances last season with Kansas City and Seattle. Outfielder Mickey McDonald has been named to make room on the 40-man roster.
Goaltenders: INF Yu Chang (COVID-19 injured reserve) had a two-at-bat single with Double-A Akron in the first game of his rehab stint.
Athletics: Tony Kemp was in the lineup after leaving Friday’s game shortly after being hit in the shoulder by a pitch. . RHP Lou Trivino (COVID-19 IL) will make an appearance in rehab with Single-A Stockton on Sunday. . OF Ramon Laureano has been ruled out of recent games with Las Vegas due to pain resulting from sleep issues. Laureano is serving the final days of an MLB suspension and is eligible to return on May 8.
The A’s plan to activate RHP James Kaprielian (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on the injured list to make his season debut in the series finale on Sunday. Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie (0-2, 3.71) allowed five earned runs in his previous 10 innings.
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