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Ramírez, Naylor Homer on Consecutive Pitches in the Guardians’ 6-1 Win over the Royals


By: Tom Withers, AP News


CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — For five innings, the Guardians managed just one paltry run. José Ramírez and Josh Naylor changed that with two swings.

Cleveland’s 3-4 hitters delivered a much needed 1-2 punch.

Ramírez and Naylor homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning as Cleveland moved closer to .500 with a 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

Ramírez homered to left field and, Naylor, who missed the previous two games because of tendinitis in his right wrist, drove one over the wall in right against reliever Amir Garrett (0-1) to help the Guardians take the opener of a four-game series.

Cleveland is hardly known for its power, but manager Terry Francona was grateful for the sudden surge.

“To that point, there’s one run and all of a sudden you look up and we got a couple-run lead,” he said. “We’ll take ‘em when we get ’em.”

Since June 1, Ramírez and Naylor have combined for 80 hits, 11 homers and 45 RBIs — 30% of the team’s total runs.

Andrés Giménez also homered for Cleveland (43-44), which hasn’t been at .500 since April 28, when the Guardians were 13-13.

“In reality, having that number would be a reflection of what we want to do, just to have that continuity, that’s what we do,” Giménez said through an interpreter. ”Obviously, that (.500) would be the goal, to go to the break with a positive record and that would be a good reflection of what we’re trying to do here.”