The Cleveland Guardians began a four-game series against a strong Toronto Blue Jays team Thursday night.
It was an increasingly familiar winning scoreline: 6-5.
Once again, hits were no issue for the team, who notched 11 in the game.
One of these days 11 hits will turn into more than six runs, but, that’s a problem for another day and Cleveland will take a win however it can get one.
And fans were quite pleased with the result:
COME ON CLASE, BABYYYYY
LET’S GET THIS THING DONE!!!#Fortheland
— 216 Baseball Podcast (@216BaseballPod) May 6, 2022
Steven Kwan is magical!https://t.co/MP1Kg7V8Xj
— Cleveland Baseball Insider (@CBIonSI) May 5, 2022
Known power hitter, Steven Kwan pic.twitter.com/qsfzOzMQba
— Fuzzy (@fuzzyfromyt) May 5, 2022
On the mound, Aaron Civale battled through five and two-thirds, surrendering four earned runs against eight strikeouts.
The high strikeout count has to be reassuring for the Guards against the high-powered Blue Jays offense.
Kwan finished with a hit, walk, and two RBIs.
Not only a hit – Kwan bombed his first big league home run.
Don’t worry, the team was able to track it down.
In exchange for his first home run ball, Steven Kwan gave the gift of immortality to the kid who caught it.
— Always the Jake (@alwaysthejake) May 6, 2022
STEVEN KWAN’S FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE HOME RUN TIES THE GAME AT 2 A PIECE 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨
ALL HAIL KING KWAN #Fortheland
— 216 Baseball Podcast (@216BaseballPod) May 5, 2022
Kwan expressed his gratitude after the game:
“This whole thing is crazy. This has been a month of pure ecstasy. It’s been really fun.”
The outfielder’s success isn’t much of a surprise at this point.
Kwan’s numbers are a testament to his consistency thus far into the young season.
Despite missing a few games with injury, Kwan has kept pace well in this lineup.
The more surprising story is seeing Franmil Reyes explode.
Which is strange; if you’d asked Guardians fans preseason who would be more likely a solid early-season contributor, many would have likely pegged Reyes.
Reyes continued his mini-streak with three hits and a single RBI.
His early slump was discussed at nauseum.
Was it a lack of confidence?
Just bad luck?
Whatever it was, he seems to be bouncing back.
In fact, if he was lacking any confidence before, the lumbering DH took off to steal a base on a pitch that turned out to be a single by second baseman Andrés Giménez.
Reyes used the boost to make it all the way to third base, which was crucial to the Guardians scoring Reyes as the go-ahead run that inning:
“I had a very good opportunity to steal that base right there and Gimenez hit it to the other side of second and no one was covering third. So I tried to hustle for the team.”
Reyes’ bounce-back couldn’t have come at a much better time, either.
With three games left against a talented Blue Jays squad and upcoming fixtures against division rivals Minnesota and Chicago looming, the Guardians will require all hands on deck.
If the team can put together a run here and bring a little momentum to the Twins series, they might just make things tighter atop the AL Central.