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Jun 23, 2024 5:46 pm

Guardians keep rolling, sweep struggling Jays

Blue Jays, Guardians

Josh Naylor and Steve Kwan each homered in the fourth inning as the Cleveland Guardians won 6-5 on Sunday to sweep a three-game set from the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, who have lost a season-high six straight.

Naylor had three hits, including his career-high 20th homer that gave Cleveland a 6-3 lead and proved to be the difference. It came three batters after Kwan, who has reached base in 28 straight games, opened the fourth with his career-high seventh homer. The AL Central-leading Guardians have won five in a row.

Rookie Spencer Horwitz hit his first two homers of the season and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a two-run shot for the Blue Jays, who have suffered back-to-back series sweeps after winning two straight against Cleveland.

Toronto led 2-0 three batters into the contest after Guerrero sent a Triston McKenzie pitch well over the high left-center-field wall for a two-run shot, his ninth of the season.

The Blue Jays’ Yusei Kukuchi (4-7) retired the first two Guardians in the bottom of the first, then Ramirez singled, went to third on Naylor’s hit and scored via David Fry’s lined single to right.

Horwitz made it 3-1 when he smoked a McKenzie pitch off the right-field foul pole in the third.

In the bottom of that frame, Ramirez singled and scampered to third on Naylor’s double. Kukuchi walked Bo Naylor to load the bases.

Daniel Schneemann followed with an RBI single to make it 3-2 before a roughly 30-minute rain delay. When play resumed, Toronto’s Zach Pop issued a bases-loaded walk to Johnathan Rodriguez, then Cleveland went ahead on Bryan Rocchio’s double play grounder that plated a run.

Kukuchi was charged with four runs on eight hits in two innings. All three runs McKenzie yielded were earned in just three innings.

With Toronto down three, Horwitz went deep into the center-field shrubbery in the fifth. Addison Barger’s RBI single later in the frame made it a one-run game.

Cleveland reliever Tim Herrin (3-0) earned the win and Emmanuel Clase recorded his 24th save despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth.

–Field Level Media

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