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Guardians complete the first A-sweep in 22 years

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Triston McKenzie threw 6 1/3 pointless innings and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Athletics 7-3 on Sunday to complete their first sweep of Oakland in 22 years.

Franmil Reyes, who was stuck in a 1-to-27 downturn into the day, had a two-run single in the third as Cleveland scored four times to take control 5-0. Andres Gimenez had two hits and one RBI and finished 6 for 12 with six RBIs in the three-game series.

McKenzie (1-2) held the A’s to three hits, hitting seven and walking one as Cleveland swept a series at the Oakland Coliseum for the first time since 10-12. April 2000.

“Really powerful stuff, really violent,” Cleveland catcher Luke Maile said of McKenzie’s outing. “Calling pitches such a guy is terribly funny, because even when he has something else in mind, you really can not go wrong when he performs well.”

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Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie ends up throwing against the Oakland Athletics during the first round of a baseball game in Oakland, California, on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie ends up throwing against the Oakland Athletics during the first round of a baseball game in Oakland, California, on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
(AP Photo / Darren Yamashita)

It was something of a weekend for the Guardians, who arrived in the Bay Area after losing seven in a row. They are 10-12 overall as they take home from a road trip of 10 matches.

“The game is fluid,” said manager Terry Francona. “We have been very striped. To this point, the downturns have outweighed the good, but hopefully we are in the middle of changing that. We have been playing better baseball the last three days.”

The A’s, who have lost six of their last eight, did not move a runner as far as third base before the seventh inning.

A three-run rally in the ninth helped Oakland avoid a shutout as Christian Bethancourt and Kevin Smith delivered RBI doubles and Chad Pinder hit a sacrificial fly.

James Kaprielian (0-1), who made his season debut for Oakland after being sidelined due to a shoulder injury, went four times and did not come out of the third.

“It did not go his way today,” said A’s manager Mark Kotsay. “I have not had the opportunity to talk to Kap yet, but it just seemed like he was really working. And he did not really have a sense of being able to command the fast ball in the zone.”

Kaprielian was pulled after going the first three batters in the third, and Reyes greeted reliever Jake Lemoine with a two-run single to right-center that made it a 3-0 match.

Reyes, who had a day off Saturday to clear his head in the middle of his downturn, had struck out in 14 of his previous 18 record appearances before his race-scoring hit. He finished 1 for 5 with three strikeouts on Sunday.

ROSTER MOVES

The A’s selected RHP Adam Oller for Triple-A Las Vegas to clear a spot for Kaprielian on the active list. Oller began the season as Oakland’s fifth starter, but went 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA over three starts in his first taste of majors.

Oller was acquired from the Mets as part of the deal that sent starter Chris Bassitt to New York.

COACH’S ROOM

Guardians: SS Amed Rosario missed another match in a row with a sore left wrist, even though he hit the batting cage on Sunday morning. Francona expressed optimism that Rosario could return Tuesday against San Diego.

“We have a day off tomorrow,” Francona said. “It will give him a chance to be okay.”

Athletics: C Stephen Vogt, at 15-day IL with a sprained right knee, continues to retrain the injury and his schedule for return is unknown.

NEXT

After a day off on Monday, the Guardians will send RHP Zach Plesac (1-2, 3.80) to the high on Tuesday against San Diego to open a six-game home game. The RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-3, 3.26) start for the A’s on Monday in the opening of a three-game series against Tampa Bay.

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