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Guardians rally to win without Francona, A’s lose 9th in row

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Cleveland Guardians logo(Cleveland Guardians)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Andrés Giménez drove in the go-ahead run with a single in Cleveland’s four-run eighth inning, and the Guardians rallied without manager Terry Francona for an 8-4 win Thursday night over the Oakland Athletics, who dropped their ninth straight.

Giménez looped a single into left field off Lou Trivino (1-5) as the Guardians moved back over .500 for the first time since May 9, when they were 15-14.

Guardians rookie Richie Palacios added a two-run single in the eighth, and another run scored on an Oakland throwing error.

Cleveland came from behind after Francona was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing with the Guardians down 4-2.

José Ramírez and Josh Naylor homered and Enyel De Los Santos (1-0) got the win for Cleveland, which has won eight of 10 and stayed competitive despite seven rainouts at home. Rookie Oscar Gonzalez had four hits.

Christian Bethancourt hit a two-run homer for the young A’s, who now have two nine-game losing streaks this season and are 19 games under .500 for the first time since 2017.

Steven Kwan’s two-out RBI single tied it for Cleveland in the seventh, an inning after he was involved in the play that got Francona thrown out.

Kwan beat out an infield single and stole second with a headfirst slide. When the throw sailed into center, Kwan tried to get up but Oakland shortstop Elvis Andrus was sprawled on top of him.

Francona came out and argued with second-base umpire Jeremie Rehak that Kwan should get third. The umpires convened, and when they ruled Kwan didn’t deserve the extra base, an infuriated Francona was tossed by crew chief Paul Emmel.

It was Francona’s first ejection this season and the 45th of his career.

The A’s had built a 4-2 lead in the sixth on three straight two-out doubles by Bethancourt, Andrus and pinch-hitter Seth Brown.

Ramírez and Naylor connected for back-to-back homers on the first three pitches by starter James Kapriellan in the fourth.

Ramírez kept up his torrid pace, leading off with his 15th homer. Naylor followed with his seventh, giving the Guardians consecutive homers for the first time since the team’s name change.

FOES AND FRIENDS

Francona hasn’t forgotten the day in Boston when the Red Sox released outfielder Mark Kotsay.

“I remember literally shedding tears when we did it,” he said. “It was hard.”

Now Oakland’s first-year manager, Kotsay said he and Francona bonded during their time together and remain close. Kotsay said Francona’s managerial style influenced him.

“Tito is a man of emotion,” Kotsay said. “He cares about his guys, probably to the point where it impacts them physically, and I would say there is some of that in myself.”

RARE PICKOFF

The Guardians pulled off a successful pickoff play at second base Wednesday against Texas, the first for a Cleveland team since July 9, 1985.

Francona was stunned to learn it had been 37 years between pickoffs.

“I’m really surprised,” Francona said. “You would just think over the course of time, something would happen.”

After a nearly two-hour rain delay, right-hander Eli Morgan spun before throwing a pitch in the fifth and nabbed Adolis García. The Guardians schemed the move during the delay.

“That was fun,” Francona said. “It was like you’re in your backyard. You’re kind of drawing it up, talking to the guys. It was fun to watch it play itself out.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Guardians: RHP Aaron Civale allowed one run in two innings (50 pitches) in a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus at Indianapolis. He’s been out since May 20, when he fell covering first base and suffered a bruised left glute muscle.

UP NEXT

Triston McKenzie (3-5, 3.10 ERA) allowed just three hits over seven innings in his last start, but all three were home runs. The right-hander starts for the Guardians against Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn (5-2, 2.62), who has dropped his past two starts.

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