CLEVELAND, Ohio — Shortly before the 11:30 a.m. start time on Sunday vs. the Athletics, Terry Francona got word that starting pitcher Cal Quantrill was throwing up in the bullpen during warmups.
Quantrill still pitched despite what Francona joking referred to as “intestinal turmoil.”
He didn’t start well, giving up a home run to the second hitter he faced in Oakland’s Ramon Laureano. But Quantrill settled in after the first inning and with the help of three response runs from his offense in the bottom of the first, helped the Guardians close out their homestand with a 6-3 win at Progressive Field.
“We were kind of scrambling. I looked at the card and I’m like, ‘We have seven innings in our bullpen, max,’” Francona said. “So for him to do what he did was pretty exceptional.”
Despite the unusual start time and the stomach issues in the warmup, Quantrill wasn’t going to miss Sunday’s start.
“I was pitching today no matter what,” Quantrill said. “It’s just weird stuff. Probably got a little greedy on my breakfast for an 11:30 a.m. game. Not used to playing that early.
“I get butterflies every single time I pitch. Today was a little different. Normally I don’t puke up the butterflies. I would love to meet the pitcher who doesn’t get butterflies before he takes the mound because it’s real, it’s a thing. You care. You want to do great. You get nervous.”
Quantrill turned in a strong start after giving up the early homer, going six innings and allowing one run on four hits. He has now won his last three starts and extended his streak of 21 home starts at Progressive Field without taking a loss.
After the first inning, Quantrill stayed largely out of trouble until the sixth when he gave up a double to Christian Bethancourt and a walk to Seth Brown with two outs. The two Athletics moved to third and second, respectively, on a double steal. But Quantrill got Sean Murphy to pop out to Josh Naylor to get out of the jam and complete his afternoon.
“I think I was probably well-prepared for today,” Quantrill said. “It feels like I’ve thrown a lot of day games in the last year. You just back everything up a little bit. I’m not a 7:30 (a.m.) wake-up guy, but today I was.”
Amed Rosario went 3-for-4 with two doubles, one of which scored Myles Straw in the sixth. He now has a hit in 11 of his last 12 games, with multiple hits in five of those games.
Jose Ramirez had three RBIs and a double, tying Shoeless Joe Jackson and Roy Weatherly for the most extra-base hits (37) by a Cleveland baseball player in the first 56 games of a season. Jackson hit that milestone in 1913 and Weatherly did it in 1936.
Facing a 1-0 deficit after the top of the first, the Guardians (29-27) struck for three runs off of A’s (21-41) starter Cole Irvin. Ramirez had a two-run double to left, and Owen Miller singled home Ramirez two batters later to give Cleveland a 3-1 lead.
An RBI double from Rosario and an RBI single by Josh Naylor made it 5-1 in the sixth. Ramirez had an RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh, beating out a potential inning-ending double play to let Austin Hedges score and push the Guardians’ lead to 6-1.
“We’re really playing with a good amount of energy, and I thought that was really important today,” Francona said. “It’s an 11:30 (a.m.) game, and I thought we came out with really good energy.”
Oakland clawed back to make it 6-3 in the eighth after back-to-back two-out home runs from Bethancourt and Brown off of Trevor Stephan. But he got out of the inning and Emmanuel Clase gave up just one hit in the ninth for his 11th save.
Irvin lasted 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. He had retired 13 straight Guardians hitters following Miller’s RBI single in the first. Straw ended that streak when he led off the sixth with a single.
Miller and Straw each had two hits for the Guardians.
The Guardians are off Monday before beginning a nine-game road trip on Tuesday night in Denver against the Rockies. Shane Bieber (3-3, 2.91) will start for Cleveland and Colorado will have Antonio Senzatela (2-3, 4.83) on the mound. First pitch is at 8:40 p.m. Eastern.
Guardians merchandise for sale: Here’s where you can order new Cleveland Guardians gear, including T-shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, and much more.
If you or a loved one has questions and needs to talk to a professional about gambling, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the National Council on Program Gambling Helpline (NCPG) at 1-800-522-4700.
More Guardians coverage
Guardians slammed by A’s, 10-5
Walk-off celebration turns into minor scuffle with A’s
Do you see a young Belle in Gonzalez? Hey, Hoynsie
Method to Guards’ madness now into sight: The week in baseball
Don’t be guarded – you can smile about this team: Pluto
Ramirez sparks 9th-inning rally for 3-2 win over A’s
Palacios comes through in a pinch: Takeaways
Why G’s were peeved about MLB’s weather decisions on Wednesday
Gonzalez’s ‘ultra-aggressive’ approach is a hit