Steven Kwan, Guardians bid to stay hot in clash vs. Reds

Wed Jun 12 8:07am ET
Field Level Media

Steven Kwan will look to stay hot Wednesday night when the visiting Cleveland Guardians conclude a brief two-game series against the in-state rival Cincinnati Reds.

Since returning from the injured list on May 31, Kwan is 13-for-25 with one homer, five RBIs and 10 runs. He went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles to pace the Guardians to a 5-3 win over the Reds on Tuesday.

Kwan missed 23 games due to a left hamstring strain.

"I definitely missed playing, but since I came back, I'm sticking to a plan and a little bit of luck," Kwan said. "We have great technology and a great scouting report in Cleveland. I'm trying to get the mental AB. Things are obviously clicking right now, but tomorrow is another day."

Another key figure in Tuesday's win was center fielder Tyler Freeman. He made a pair of sensational catches in the bottom of the first inning, robbing Spencer Steer of a potential extra-base hit and Jake Fraley of a home run on back-to-back plays.

"I thought Freeman's first catch was unbelievable, fighting the sun and getting back there," Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said. "Any time you rob a homer, it's sick. Those were huge plays there. It could have gone a lot different if he didn't make those plays there. He keeps getting better and better."

Cleveland sits atop the American League Central after winning three in a row and 19 of its last 25 games.

A victory Wednesday by the Guardians would clinch a 10th straight Ohio Cup since the Reds would have to win the four-game series outright.

Cleveland will send right-hander Tanner Bibee (4-1, 3.73 ERA) to the mound Wednesday to make his 14th start of the season. Bibee is 2-0 with an impressive 2.12 ERA in his last five starts, allowing just eight runs -- seven earned -- over 29 2/3 innings.

Bibee received a no-decision Thursday after allowing three runs -- two earned -- and six hits over five innings in the Guardians' 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Bibee will make his first career start against Cincinnati.

The Reds will counter with left-hander Nick Lodolo (6-2, 2.92 ERA), who will make his 10th start of the season. Last Friday, Lodolo allowed just one run and four hits over six innings in Cincinnati's 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Lodolo will make his second career start against the Guardians. On April 13, 2022, he allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings in a no-decision.

The Reds escaped a serious injury at the end of Tuesday's game. Rookie outfielder Blake Dunn had his helmet broken after he was hit in the head by a 101 mph fastball from Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase in the ninth inning.

"Of course, it's scary. He's fine," Cincinnati manager David Bell said. "So that's the main thing that matters, but it's part of the game."

"You just kind of see the ball coming in and luckily I was able to turn my head away from it so that it didn't like catch an eye or a cheek bone or anything like that," Dunn said. "It caught my helmet pretty good, cracked it, but I mean pretty solid helmet to be able to keep me out there. I'm good. I feel fine. feel normal."

CLE LogoCleveland Guardians
CIN LogoCincinnati Reds

Wed Jun 12 7:10pm ET