Guardians sweep Rangers, clinch AL Central title

The Cleveland Guardians completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers and clinched the American League Central division title with a 10-4 victory on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

Steven Kwan capped a three-hit game with his first career grand slam, and the rookie drove in five runs.

The Guardians’ seventh straight win, combined with the Detroit Tigers’ 4-1 defeat of the Chicago White Sox, gave the franchise its first division crown since 2018.

Cleveland (86-67) collected 10 hits and capitalized on three errors by Texas (65-87).

Cleveland right-hander Aaron Civale (3-6) gave up two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Texas left-hander Cole Ragans (0-3) allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings.

In the third inning, the Guardians broke through for four runs thanks in part to a throwing error by Rangers rookie third baseman Josh Jung.

Tyler Freeman singled and with one out, Myles Straw singled. Kwan’s RBI single opened the scoring. Amed Rosario reached on a fielder’s choice, and two runs scored on Jung’s error. Oscar Gonzalez added a run-scoring single for a 4-0 lead.

The Rangers got on the board in the fourth inning. Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe singled, putting runners on the corners with one out. Adolis Garcia’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1.

Texas trimmed its deficit to 4-2 in the fifth inning. Jung doubled and advanced to third on a fly ball. With one out, Josh H. Smith lifted a sacrifice fly.

A couple of defensive mistakes by the Rangers led to two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Gonzalez reached on Corey Seager’s error at shortstop, and Owen Miller was safe on Semien’s error at second. Gabriel Arias delivered a two-run triple to put Cleveland up 6-2.

The lead swelled to 10-2 on Kwan’s two-out grand slam off reliever Joe Barlow.

Texas pushed across two runs in the eighth inning on Lowe’s fielder’s choice grounder and a throwing error by Freeman at second base.