CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Guardians (70-78) took down the Texas Rangers (82-65), 12-3, on Friday night. Guardians starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (8-13, 4.59) picked up the win in his best start since joining the team earlier this month.
The right-hander threw seven innings, allowing two hits and one walk, while striking out a season-high 12 Rangers hitters. Giolito also struck out two or more batters in five of the seven innings he pitched.
Boasting the second best run differential in baseball entering Friday, the Rangers were held scoreless through eight innings.
Not only did Giolito pitch a gem, but he had plenty of support from first baseman Josh Naylor and the rest of the Guardians offense. The 26-year-old slugger helped the Guardians with his fourth four-hit game of the season and drove in a run in three separate innings.
With those three RBI, Naylor is now one of two players in the American League to have an average above .310 and more than 90 RBI for the season.
The Guardians also benefited from plenty of power with home runs coming from second baseman Andres Gimenez (13), outfielder Ramon Laureano (9), and designated hitter Kole Calhoun (5). The club also plated five runs in the sixth inning thanks in part to four doubles from the team.
Starting to Settle
Fifteen days after being claimed by the Guardians, things seem to finally be calming down for Giolito, who discussed how he has started to feel at home with the club.
"There's a little adjustment period again after being with another team and another team before that," Giolito said after the win. "Now it's like alright, I'm here. I know I'm not going anywhere. The guys here from the top down, management, coaching staff, players, have been really, really welcoming and fantastic and kind to me. I feel at home and I feel like, you know, I'm here to finish strong and do everything I can to help this team win games."
Guardians manager Terry Francona echoed Giolito's sentiment and thought the team really rallied behind the veteran pitcher.
"I think everybody was so pleased for him because, you know, I think you could see him, and it was good [to see]," Francona said of Giolito's start following the game. "You know, he hasn't been here that long. It was nice to see the way everybody kind of rallied behind him."
The Guardians will look to notch another win against the Texas Rangers on Saturday at Progressive Field with first pitch at 6:10 PM. Right-hander Tanner Bibee (10-4, 3.03) will take the mound for the Guardians and face-off against Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning (10-6, 3.91).