Guardians rookie loses track of strikeouts and throws the ball to a fan

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Screenshot from Twitter MLB Errors video

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona had a question for rookie outfielder Oscar Gonzalez when he dug back in the sixth inning of Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

“I just asked him, ‘I haven’t been to Triple-A in a while. Do they make you get three out there? Francona told reporters after Cleveland’s 7-3 victory over the Royals.

Francona smiled as she recounted the conversation, and the Guardians got a laugh at what turned out to be a harmless but rare blunder by Gonzalez.

Andrew Benintendi of the Royals was on first base with one out when Salvador Perez flew to the right. Gonzalez caught and, thinking it was third out of the inning, kicked the ball into the stands.

As noted by Rex Hudler of Bally Sports Kansas City, Benintendi had two goals and Gonzalez was charged with an error. Despite the blunder, the Royals failed to score in the frame.

Monday’s game was just the fourth Gonzalez has played in the majors, and he’s averaging .438 with two doubles.

Gonzalez told MLB.com that the reaction in the dugout meant a lot to him.

“(My teammates) were just funny and kinda laughed about it,” Gonzalez said through team interpreter Agustin Rivero, “but at the same time they just told me to forget it, to keep going. And that was really important to me.”

This story was originally published May 31, 2022 8:48 a.m.

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