Amed Rosario, Cal Quantrill author ‘Classic’ effort as Cleveland Indians down Angels, 3-0, in Williamsport – cleveland.com

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Amed Rosario never played in the Little League World Series as a youngster, but when it comes to Major League Baseball’s Little League Classic, he’s a first-ballot hall of famer.

And Cal Quantrill’s first trip to the league’s showcase game wasn’t anything to sneeze at, either.

Rosario hit a two-run home run in the first inning Sunday and added two more hits in leading the Cleveland Indians to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in South Williamsport, Pa.

With players from the nearby Little League World Series in attendance, Cleveland’s shortstop, who now has 50 hits since the All-Star Break, raised his average in the Little League Classic to .666 with five RBI and a 1.670 OPS. He went 3-for-5 in the 2018 edition of the game when he played with the New York Mets.

Afterward, Rosario said he lobbied his teammates to play more games in Williamsport.

“That’s something I told the guys early on,” Rosario said. “We should be playing here more often.”

Quantrill, meanwhile, tossed another gem, adding to his impressive stretch of recent starts. He entered the game 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his last eight outings since July 11. On Sunday he frustrated Angels hitters over seven shutout innings, striking out nine and walking two while allowing just two hits.

Indians acting manager DeMarlo Hale said that since the All-Star break the right-hander seems to be commanding more of his pitches.

“You think about the nine strikeouts he had tonight, he used his cutter a little bit more. He also got a couple strikeouts with his fastball and also his slider,” Hale said. “You see him pitching, he’s using his repertoire much better and it’s just not one or two pitches that he’s going to.”

Quantrill escaped trouble in the third after a one-out walk to Shohei Ohtani and a base hit by David Fletcher. He got Justin Upton to send a hard ground ball back to the mound and started a double play to end the inning. In the fourth, he struck out the side on 16 pitches.

He said pitching with a regular spot in the rotation has helped his confidence after spending the first half of the season in the bullpen.

“It’s game-changing knowing that you’re a starting pitcher,” Quantrill said. “Playing the in-between game can be really tough. Having roles is a good thing. But I feel like I’ve settled in well. I feel like the routine we have works and I think the results show that.”

Rosario put the Indians in front in the first when he launched his eighth home run high down the left field line into the Angels bullpen in left off LA starter Jose Suarez. Myles Straw was on base ahead of Rosario’s home run after a leadoff double.

Austin Hedges doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on an fielder’s choice RBI groundout by Straw that put Cleveland in front. 3-0.

But after seven brilliant innings by Quantrill, James Karinchak struggled mightily, walking a pair and allowing a hit and leaving Bryan Shaw to face Fletcher with the bases loaded.

But Shaw got Fletcher to ground into an inning-ending double play on a nasty 1-0 cutter, and Emmanuel Clase pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 22 chances.

The Indians defeated the Angels for the 13th time in their last 14 meetings and swept the Halos for the seventh time in their last 12 series. But Sunday’s game was unlike any of the previous meetings between the two clubs. With Little Leaguers packing the stands and cheering players on both sides, it created an environment unlike any that Cleveland’s young roster had ever experienced.

“I hope that they all see that it’s not that crazy that they can probably do what we’re doing,” Quantrill said when asked if the Little League Classic had served its purpose. “This is a really cool dynamic. We were able to kind of take the fence out of it and spend a little time even during the game doing stuff we wouldn’t normally do. So, yeah, I think it’s pretty cool.”

Next: The Indians are off Monday before opening a three-game series at Progressive Field against Texas. RIght-hander Eli Morgan (2-5, 5.80 ERA) will start for Cleveland while lefty Taylor Hearn (2-4, 3.97) takes the mound for the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Bally Sports Great Lakes will carry the game, which will also air on WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM and the Indians Radio Network.

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