See you in the Bronx! Cleveland Guardians move on to Divisional round with Oscar Gonzalez’s walk-off homerun in FIFTEENTH inning to end Tampa Bay Rays’ season… as New York Yankees await
- The Rays and Guardians went 15 innings without scoring a run on Saturday
- But Oscar Gonzalez finally broke the tie with a walk-off homer off Corey Kluber
- The blast sent Cleveland to the next round where they’ll play the Yankees
- And 99-win New York projects to be a tough test for the underdog Guardians
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The Cleveland Guardians won their wild-card series Saturday in emphatic fashion, as Oscar Gonzalez hit a walk-off solo home run to score the first (and last) run of the 1-0 win vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
The extra-innings game featured just 11 combined hits from both sides in 15 innings, with 16 pitchers appearing in the contest.
And it looked like the Rays would be the team to end the game earlier in the inning, as Vidal Brujan reached third base with just one out.
Oscar Gonzalez celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run vs. the Tampa Bay Rays
Gonzalez’s home run ended the drought between the two teams, and sent the Rays packing
But Sam Hentges held firm and managed to strike out the next two batters, setting up Gonzalez for his walk-off chance earlier in the game.
The outfielder was responsible for two of the Guardians’ five hits on the day, as he also reached base via an infield single in the seventh inning.
Eight innings later, he would take Corey Kluber deep to win the series.
The Guardians’ other win in the best-of-three series was also a low-scoring one; they beat the Rays 2-1 on Friday.
Cleveland will now head to New York to take on the Yankees in the divisional series, a matchup that projects to be a sterner test than the Rays provided.
The Yankees won 99 games this season and finished first place in the AL East, and feature the potential AL MVP in Aaron Judge, who hit a staggering 62 home runs this year.
New York enters the series in strong form after going 20-10 in their last 30 games.
The Rays, who also play in the AL East, finished 13 games behind New York this season with a 86-76 record.