Breaking down 3 key moments from the Guardians’ 10th-inning loss

CLEVELAND — It was setting up to happen all over again.

Over the past week, we’ve seen the Guardians prove that they’re never out of contention no matter how much of a deficit they’re facing. And in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday night against the Reds with a runner on first, Owen Miller continued his hot start to the season by launching a game-tying blast that forced extra innings.

“We’re never out of it,” Miller said.

The writing seemed like it was on the wall: The Guardians were going to figure out some way to come back yet again. Instead, the club ran into a series of events that caused momentum to shift back in the Reds’ favor, resulting in Cleveland’s 5-4, extra-inning loss at Progressive Field. Let’s take a look at the key moments that led to the defeat:

Sandlin loses the zone
The Guardians were given a second chance by forcing extra frames. But after the club already had turned to Trevor Stephan and Emmanuel Clase earlier in the night, that left Nick Sandlin as the next man up to step into the high-leverage situation.

Sandlin earned that right in 2021, owning a 2.94 ERA in 33 2/3 innings with 48 strikeouts and 17 walks before having his season cut short with a right shoulder strain. The Guardians took their time getting Sandlin back into game action in Spring Training to ease him back into a…

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