Cleveland Guardians score three runs in the eighth to beat the playoff-bound Baltimore Orioles 5-2

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Ramón Laureano drew a bases-loaded walk off Jacob Webb for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, sending the Cleveland Guardians to a 5-2 victory over the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.

The Guardians scored three times in the bottom of the eighth — all charged to Cionel Pérez (4-2) — immediately after the Orioles tied the game with two in the top half. Bo Naylor’s run-scoring single and Gabriel Arias’ RBI grounder followed Laureano’s walk that plated Josh Naylor.

“Cionel has been absolutely exceptional for us, but he just had an off-night,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “Give our guys credit for coming back and scoring two, but we didn’t do anything early offensively to help us out.”

The Orioles, who are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2016, hold a 1 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay in the division and for the best record in the AL. The Rays beat the Angels 5-4 earlier in the day.

Trevor Stephan (7-7) gave up two runs in one inning and Emmanuel Clase picked up his major league-best 42nd save in 53 opportunities for Cleveland, which has eight games remaining and trails first-place Minnesota by 8 1/2 games in the AL Central.

“It’s awesome watching Emmanuel,” Guardians starter Hunter Gaddis said. “I wish I had a 100 mph cutter like he does. That would be sick.”

The Guardians did not have an extra-base hit in the game and scored just one of their three eighth-inning runs on a single. Bo Naylor’s high fly to short right field bounced off the glove of second baseman Adam Frazier, but was ruled a hit.

“We had a pop-up and kind of an 18-hopper towards first base in the eighth, but we also didn’t chase anything,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Pérez had a real good, I don’t know if it’s a split or changeup, but we didn’t chase it.”

The Orioles trailed 2-0 until the top of the eighth, when they scored twice against Stephan. Ryan O’Hearn doubled in Adley Rutschman with the tying run, one batter after Anthony Santander brought home Ramón Urías.

Cleveland opened the scoring in the fifth with two runs off rookie Grayson Rodriguez. José Ramírez singled in Bo Naylor and a sacrifice fly by Josh Naylor scored Steven Kwan.

“I thought Grayson had a good start and he threw well,” Hyde said. “That’s a pesky team that battles at the plate, so they’re tough to pitch against.”

Rodriguez worked five innings, giving up two runs while striking out seven.

Gaddis allowed one hit in three innings, exiting shortly after being struck on the upper right calf by Rutschman’s liner.

“My leg doesn’t feel great, that’s for sure,” Gaddis said. “Outside of that, everything felt good today. My body and my pitches.”

Hyde managed his 700th career game, 699 of them with the Orioles.

IN THE MIX

Hyde is keeping a close eye on RHP Tyler Wells, who was optioned to the minors on July 30. The 6-foot-8 starter has pitched in 10 total games for Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, posting a 5.52 ERA without a decision.

“He’s definitely an option for us down the stretch,” Hyde said.

Wells went 7-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 appearances before being sent down, winning just once in his final seven starts for Baltimore.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle (left shoulder inflammation) could return from the 10-day injured list when first eligible to be activated on Sept. 27. Mountcastle sat out six straight games with the ailment before being placed on the IL.

Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (right elbow sprain), who has been on the IL since June 14, is slated to start Sunday against Baltimore. Francona said McKenzie will be limited to 70 pitches in his first MLB game since June 10.

UP NEXT

Guardians RHP Shane Bieber (5-6, 3.77 ERA) will be activated from the 60-day IL to take on Orioles RHP Dean Kremer (12-5, 4.17 ERA). The 2020 AL Cy Young winner last pitched for Cleveland on July 9, which was its final game before the All-Star break.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB