CLEVELAND — Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, completing a four-run rally that gave the Cleveland Guardians a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
Amed Rosario began the comeback with a one-out double off closer Emilio Pagán that scored automatic runner Richie Palacios, prompting the Twins to bring in Jharel Cotton (2-2).
A passed ball by Ryan Jeffers scored Steven Kwan, and Cotton retired José Ramírez before Naylor drove his first game-ending homer onto the left field porch.
After rounding the bases, Naylor headbutted helmeted Cleveland manager Terry Francona. Earlier this season, a fired-up Naylor threw his helmet in the dugout following a big homer in Chicago.
Minnesota had taken a 6-3 lead in the top of the 10th on an RBI single from pinch-hitter Carlos Correa and a two-run homer by Max Kepler off Eli Morgan (4-2). It was Kepler’s 14th home run in 45 career games at Progressive Field.
The teams have split four games in the five-game series, keeping the Twins’ lead over the second-place Guardians in the AL Central at two.
Alex Kirilloff hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Gio Urshela followed with a solo shot off Guardians starter Cal Quantrill, tying the game at 3 on Minnesota’s second back-to-back homers of the year.
Kirilloff matched his season best with three hits, while Urshela had a pair. AL batting leader Luis Arraez went 0 for 5 for the Twins, dropping his average to .337.
Quantrill pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out three. The right-hander did not issue a walk.
Cleveland went up 2-0 in the first on an RBI grounder from Franmil Reyes, scoring Kwan. Rosario also came home when Arraez threw the ball away while attempting to turn a double play.
The Guardians made it 3-0 in the third when Kwan singled, stole second and scored on Naylor’s sacrifice fly.
Twins righty Dylan Bundy gave up three runs, two earned, over five innings.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Twins OF Byron Buxton amassed 52 home runs, 95 RBIs and 112 runs over his previous 162 games, a span that began on Sept. 1, 2019. The oft-injured speedster did not start Wednesday, but entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit at that level for that period of time – and it still feels like he’s capable of more,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Buck is a fantastic player.”
Twins: Correa (leg soreness) was not in the lineup after playing all 18 innings in the field during Tuesday’s doubleheader. Baldelli said the two-time All-Star shortstop was a “little beat up,” but used him off the bench in the 10th. “Carlos wanted both games in the doubleheader, but we had to get him a day off in this series,” Baldelli said.
Guardians: C Austin Hedges (concussion), who is on the seven-day injured list, is working toward a bullpen session. “He had more of a Hedgie personality than he’s had for a couple days, so I think he’s doing OK,” Francona said. Hedges was struck by a foul ball Saturday against the Red Sox.
Twins: RHP Chris Archer (2-3, 3.14 ERA) seeks his first career victory over Cleveland in the five-game series finale. Archer is 0-7 with a 5.87 ERA in eight games, all starts, against the Guardians franchise.
Guardians: RHP Shane Bieber (3-4, 3.07 ERA) lost for the first time since May 22 in his last start, giving up three runs over seven innings against Boston. Bieber is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his past six outings.