Guardians bounce back with win at Royals

The Cleveland Guardians got a boost from a controversial call, then took advantage of their momentum to rebound for a 7-2 win over the host Kansas City Royals Saturday afternoon.

After having lost the first two games of the series and trailing 2-1 with two out in the fourth, Johnkensy Noel pulled Cole Ragans’ slider to left for a two-run homer, his second. Noel’s high drive appeared to go foul, but after a crew chief review, the call was allowed to stand for a 3-2 Guardians lead.

That was all the assistance Cleveland would need, as the Guardians poured on another four runs from there.

Steven Kwan had two singles and scored twice as Cleveland avoided their first four-game losing streak of the year and snapped a six-game losing streak at Kauffman Stadium.

Four Guardians relievers fanned seven Royals hitters in three scoreless frames.

Jose Ramirez had an RBI double in the fifth, ending Ragans’ outing and Naylor followed with another RBI double off reliever Angel Zerpa. Andres Gimenez capped the three-run inning with his second hit, an RBI single to right.

In the seventh, Ramirez hit a solo homer into the left-field bullpen.

His 23 home runs rank fourth in baseball and his 74 RBIs rank second.

Cleveland jumped ahead in the first when Josh Naylor snapped his 0-for-13 slide, ripping a 3-0 fastball into the right-field corner for an RBI double.

Vinnie Pasquantino tied the game with his 10th homer later in the first, a two-out solo shot barely clearing the right-field fence. Michael Massey’s leadoff home run in the second, his seventh, put the Royals ahead 2-1.

Tanner Bibee (7-2) faced the minimum thereafter, finishing six innings while allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.

In his shortest outing since April 20, Ragans (5-6) threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs — his most since May 11 — on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

Massey and Pasquantino each collected two of Kansas City’s six hits.

Pasquantino has four extra-base hits — three for home runs — while hitting .348 with eight RBIs in the first six games of the Royals’ current ten-game homestand.

The loss ended Kansas City’s three-game win streak.

–Field Level Media