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Gavin Williams Shuts Down Royals for 7 Innings, Guardians Rally to Win in 9th on Brennan’s Double


By: Marc Bowman, AP News


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gavin Williams held Kansas City to one hit through seven innings in his second major league start, Will Brennan hit a two-run double in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians rallied past the Royals 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Kansas City had broken a scoreless tie in the eighth on a comebacker by Nicky Lopez against Trevor Stephan (4-3), who threw wildly to the plate while trying to cut down pinch-runner Dairon Blanco.

Emmanuel Clase worked around another error in the ninth to complete the two-hitter and earn his 24th save.

Guardians manager Terry Francona missed the game, with bench coach DeMarlo Hale filling in. Francona, who missed significant time in 2020 and 2021 with medical issues, felt ill earlier Tuesday and was hospitalized overnight for observation.

“I found out right before the game,” Hale said. “He said, ‘Get in here, I’m not feeling too well.’ It was so close (to game time), I didn’t get to ask him what’s going on.”

Williams, Cleveland’s top pitching prospect, was superb after his slightly shaky debut last week, when he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings against Oakland.

“Definitely more comfortable this time,” Williams agreed.

He struck out six, walked one and needed only 92 pitches to get through seven innings. He faced his only real trouble in the third and retired Bobby Witt Jr. on a lineout with two runners on.

“Today he was a little more relaxed,” catcher Bo Naylor said. “He settled in very easily and just pitched with his stuff.”

Williams became the second pitcher in franchise history with a one-hit outing of seven innings or more during his first two appearances.

“He was commanding the fastball so well,” Naylor said. “The sky’s the limit for him when he’s doing that. He really showed us what he’s made of.”

Josh Naylor led off the ninth with a single against Royals closer Scott Barlow (2-4), Andrés Giménez drew a one-out walk and Brennan grounded his third hit of the game into the right-field corner to score them both.

“Honestly, I don’t think you could have written it up any better,” Brennan said. “I got put in the right situation and got a pitch to hit. As a competitor that’s the best thing you can ask for.”

The Kansas City-area native is batting .373 (31 for 83) over his last 23 games.

“Give them credit,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “They put the ball in play and that’s what they do, they make something happen.”

Barlow blew his second save of the season.

Royals starter Brady Singer gave up four singles over six innings. He allowed just two runners past first base.

“I thought he was tremendous,” Quatraro said. “He started working both sides of the plate. He was really efficient.”

The Guardians have played in a major league-most 34 one-run games, going 16-18.

Kansas City was shut out for the 10th time and fell to 22-57, its worst record in franchise history at this point in the season.


Royals C Salvador Perez was out of the lineup after having an eye procedure Monday.


Kansas City reinstated OF Kyle Isbel (left hamstring strain) from the 10-day injured list and optioned OF Nate Eaton to Triple-A Omaha.


LHP Logan Allen (3-2, 3.68 ERA) starts for Cleveland as the series continues on Wednesday. Kansas City had not announced a starter.