Move over Acela Corridor: It’s Cleveland that suddenly has the best record in baseball

Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) celebrates after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Monday, June 24, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)(AP/Stephanie Scarbrough)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Look beyond the East Coast for the team with the top record in baseball.

That’s now the Cleveland Guardians.

José Ramírez’s three-run homer in the fourth inning lifted Cleveland to a 10-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. The Guardians have now won seven straight to wrest the top spot in the major leagues from the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies — who had been trading it back and forth since early May.

“We love playing the best teams because we get to measure ourselves,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “We don’t look at our record. It’s way too early for that. Our goal is to win every series and now we have an opportunity to sweep tomorrow. It’s all you can ask for.”

Playing in the often-maligned AL Central, the Guardians probably have to fight a little harder for respect, but taking the first two games of this series at Camden Yards sends quite a message. Last week, it appeared Baltimore had made a statement by winning consecutive series against the Braves, Phillies and Yankees. But the Orioles have dropped five games in a row since then for their longest skid in over two years.

New York, meanwhile, has lost eight of its last 11. Philadelphia (52-27) fell at Detroit on Tuesday and is now percentage points behind Cleveland (51-26).

On Monday night, the Guardians won 3-2 despite resting closer Emmanuel Clase. On Tuesday, Cleveland yanked starter Logan Allen after only three-plus innings, then promptly scored five runs in the fourth to take an 8-4 lead.

“The versatility this team has — we can hit home runs, we can put up crooked numbers, and we can play close games,” Vogt said. “We take it one inning at a time. We want to be all the cliches — the cliches get it done.”

The Guardians won Tuesday despite allowing four homers to a Baltimore team that has gone deep a major league-high 129 times.

“Just the resilience of this team. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys top to bottom,” Vogt said. “From Logan grinding through, not having his best stuff, to the bullpen. … I just can’t say enough for how our pitching staff has picked us up all year.”



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