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Josh Naylor’s 3 RBIs propel Guardians to a 6-2 win, sweep of A’s and continue best start since 1999

Vaseline 2 months ago

CLEVELAND – Josh Naylor delivered a clutch, three-run double in the seventh inning as the Guardians continued their best start in 25 years with a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep.

With the Guardians ahead 3-2, Naylor, who celebrated a two-run homer on Saturday by hitting the top of his helmet with his bat before rounding the bases, hit a double with the bases loaded off TJ McFarland.

Naylor is hitting .406 (13 of 32) with 14 RBIs in nine home games.

The surprising Guardians have won four straight, seven of eight, and improved the AL’s best record to 16-6. This is the club’s best start since Cleveland achieved the same mark in 22 games in 1999.

Cleveland starter Tanner Bibee (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander gave up a two-out RBI single in the sixth before first-year Guardians manager Stephen Vogt dove into his bullpen, which came in with a 2.19 ERA.

Tim Herrin, Nick Sandlin, Cade Smith and closer Emmanuel Clase held the A’s scoreless over the final 3 1/3 innings.

Will Brennan homered for the Guardians, who rounded out the A’s while All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez got the day off.

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates after hitting a three-run double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Nick Cammett

Oakland has lost seven straight games in Cleveland and the A’s have gone 4-16 against the Guardians over the past three years.

Brennan’s second-inning home run came off Ross Stripling (0-5), who was 0-10 the past two seasons with Oakland and San Francisco. He is the first A’s pitcher to lose his first five starts since Mike Morris dropped six in a row in 1979.

Brent Rooker homered for the A’s.

Brennan, who hit a pinch-hit homer in Boston earlier this week, had one out in the second inning – just the 13th homer the Oakland staff has allowed this season. The A’s gave up a team-record 213 home runs in 2023.

Cleveland Guardians’ Will Brennan hits a solo home run off Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ross Stripling during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Nick Cammett

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: Oakland has nine players on the injured list. The A’s have had at least eight players on the IL since June 16, 2023.

Guardians: RHP Gavin Williams (elbow) flew to Cleveland after pitching three innings in Arizona on Saturday. He will be monitored by the team’s medical and training staff before taking the next step in his return. Williams was injured while throwing a weighted ball in training camp and essentially had to restart his pitching program.

NEXT ONE

Athletics: Open a four-game series at Yankee Stadium with JP Sears (1-1, 4.35 ERA) opposite LHP Carlos Rodón.

Guardians: After a bad day, start a three-game series against Boston, with RHP Ben Lively (0-1, 3.60) throwing the opener against RHP Tanner Houck (3-1, 1.35), who blanked Cleveland on three hits last week at Fenway Park.