Guardians' bats go silent when Zach Plesac pitches | Jeff Schudel

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Aug. 6—Zach Plesac has to be the best 2-10 pitcher in Indians/Guardians history. When he pitches, the players paid to score runs leave their bats in the clubhouse.

Plesac hasn't been the winning pitcher since June 5 when the Guardians beat the Orioles, 3-2, in Baltimore when he allowed four hits and two earned over six innings. He struck out eight and walked one Oriole.

The game Aug. 3 against the Astros was more typical of the way his season has unfolded. The Guardians, stymied by Justin Verlander, were blanked, 6-0.

Plesac was not at his best. He gave up four earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, coughed up seven hits and five walks while striking out four Astros. But the offense was anemic. Again. The Guardians managed only three hits and struck out seven times. They had only three runners in scoring position all night.

"I'm being tested right now," Plesac said in his postgame interview. "It's hard. I'm doing everything I can to help us win. I'm trying to do everything in my power to not focus on things that aren't going my way.

"I'm really being tested. I'm going to give in, or I'm going to prevail. It's something I'm never going to back down from. I'm going to continue to work every day and get out of this funk of unluckiness or whatever it is."

To be clear, Plesac was not calling out his teammates. Also, he has caused some of his own problems with poor control. He has walked 33 batters in 108 1/3 innings. Last season he walked 34 in 142 2/3 innings while posting a 4.67 ERA and a 10-6 record. His current ERA is 4.49.

Plesac gave up home runs on the average of one every 6.2 innings last season. This season it is one homer every 7.7 innings. There is no denying run support has been lacking when he pitches.

Here are the scores from Plesac's last six losses: 1-0 (Twins), 4-1 (Tigers), 5-1 (Royals), 3-1 (Red Sox), 6-4 (Rays) and the 6-0 loss to the Astros.

Eight of Plesac's starts resulted in a no-decision. The Guardians averaged 5.6 runs and were 5-3 in those games.

—The Guardians are not giving up on Franmil Reyes, but the slugger who pounded out 30 homers and drove in 85 runs last season won't be back with the big club any time soon.

Reyes was demoted to Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 2, the same day as the trade deadline, when Oscar Gonzalez was activated from the injury list. Gonzalez had been battling an abdominal strain.

Reyes, 27, is hitting a meager .216 in 71 games with nine home runs and 28 RBI. Gonzalez, in 34 games, is hitting .289 with three home runs and 16 RBI. Gonzalez has 39 hits in 135 at bats. Reyes has 56 hits in 263 at-bats.

"We spent a lot of time with Franmil," Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. "We worked with Franmil a few weeks ago after he had the battle with the hamstring to try to work with him to get him back on track. They're trying to work on a plan to get him back up here.

"To Franmil's credit, he put in a lot of work. We feel like it can happen. It just hasn't. We're still committed to helping him. It's just at this point he's going to have to work through it at Triple-A. Hopefully he can get back on track and back to the productive hitter we know he's capable of being and find his way back here the last couple months. But for right now, other guys are getting those opportunities."

Antonetti was referring to Gonzalez and Nolan Jones. Jones has played in 22 games since being promoted from Columbus last month. He is hitting .250 with five doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI.

Reyes is making $4.55 million this season. He is arbitration eligible for the first time in 2023.