Cleveland Guardians outfielder Ramón Laureano could be a key factor in helping the team stay on pace in the race for the American League Central title and showed his worth on Tuesday night.
Laureano had the lone RBI in his debut with the Guardians and helped guide the team to a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Interestingly enough, he has done this before.
The outfielder was the first player since 2018 to have the only RBI in a 1-0 win in his team debut, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The last player to do it was Laureano in 2018 with the Oakland Athletics.
Cleveland claimed Laureano off waivers from Oakland on Monday. The RBI double came off against Yusei Kikuchi in the second inning. Kikuchi gave up three hits over seven innings.
In 64 games, Laureano was hitting .213 with .645 and six home runs. He had three triples to go along with 21 RBI. He spent the first five seasons of his career with Oakland. His best season came in 2019 when he hit .288 with 24 home runs and 67 RBI. But his numbers have since tapered off.
In Tuesday’s game, Cleveland got seven strong innings from Tanner Bibee. He has remained unbeaten in his last nine starts.
“Give credit to that young cat right there,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after the game. “We had a chance in the third there with (George Springer) and (Dalton Varsho). He made big pitches there, a right-on-right change-up to George and a back-foot slider to Varsh. That’s the difference.”
The win helped keep the Guardians in second place in the AL Central – only about five back behind the Minnesota Twins in the win column for first place. Cleveland is 55-59 on the year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.