MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Cleveland Guardians overcame an early exit from starting pitcher Gavin Williams caused by knee soreness, taking a three-run lead by the fourth inning and beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Minnesota, which leads second-place Cleveland by six games, went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded three runners on third base. The Twins’ Royce Lewis hit a solo homer in the fourth following grand slams in his previous two games.
Williams retired Lewis on a bases-loaded popup in the first, then was replaced by Hunter Gaddis (2-1), who allowed one run over three innings. Sam Hentges (two innings) Trevor Stephan (one inning) and Nick Sandlin (one inning) followed with scoreless relief.
Emmanuel Clase allowed Michael A. Taylor’s one-out homer in the ninth before getting his AL-leading 35th save in 44 chances. Taylor’s home run was his career-high 20th.
Bo Naylor homered in consecutive games for the first time in his major league career, putting Cleveland ahead with a solo drive in the second off Pablo López (9-7). José Ramírez scored on López’s wild pitch in the third and Kole Calhoun’s RBI groundout boosted the lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Will Brennan added an RBI single in the seventh against Emilio Pagán
López gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. Minnesota won his previous five starts prior to Tuesday’s loss.
Cleveland designated LHP Daniel Norris for assignment. Norris was brought up on Monday and allowed four runs in two innings. RHP Hunter Gaddis was recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
BUXTON HEADING TO THE OUTFIELD
Minnesota’s Byron Buxton hasn’t played in the outfield yet this year as he’s battled a knee issue. He is to center field Wednesday in starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A St. Paul. Buxton has been on the injured list since Aug. 2. The former Gold Glove winner is batting .207 with a .731 OPS in 85 games this season.
Guardians: Manager Terry Francona said RHP Cal Quantrill (right shoulder inflammation) will pitch Friday. Quantrill last pitched for Cleveland on July 5 and was 2-6 with a 6.45 ERA in 13 starts. … 1B Josh Naylor (right oblique strain) was 1 for 2 with an RBI single for Double-A Akron on Tuesday in the start of a rehab assignment. He is to work out Wednesday, Francona said, before playing Thursday and Friday.
Twins: Alex Kirilloff (right shoulder strain) will join Byron Buxton in St. Paul for a rehab assignment, playing DH on Wednesday. Kirilloff has been sidelined since July 29.
Guardians: RHP Tanner Bibee (10-3, 3.01 ERA) will face the Twins for the second time this season. The rookie right-hander allowed three runs in five innings and didn’t factor into the decision in a loss to Minnesota on June 1.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (7-6, 3.06 ERA) was sharp his last time out, allowing just one run in seven innings in a win against Texas. He’s 0-1 in two starts against the Guardians this season.