HomeSportsJosh Naylor's dramatic outburst caps 10th inning with 4 runs as Guardians...

Josh Naylor’s dramatic outburst caps 10th inning with 4 runs as Guardians shock Twins 7-6

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Trailing Minnesota by three runs in the 10th inning, the Guardians rallied on Amed Rosario’s fourth hit of the game and a spectacular Josh Naylor home run for a 7-6 victory Wednesday at the Progressive Field.

Rosario doubled up Twins reliever Emilio Pagan to tag extra runner Richie Palacios and move Steven Kwan to third. Kwan scored on a fly ball passed by Twins receiver Ryan Jeffers before Naylor connected for his ninth home run, a two-run shot over the wall to the left of Minnesota’s Jharel Cotton.

Naylor’s home run sparked a wild celebration along the first baseline that saw the mild-mannered infielder unleash his unhinged alter ego, one usually reserved for late-inning heroics. Naylor yelled, swore and butted manager Terry Francona as the two met near the Cleveland dugout. Francona, fortunately, had donned a batting helmet in anticipation of the encounter.

Afterwards, Naylor said his only concern was coming away with a win.

“I was just trying to end the game,” Naylor said. “I didn’t want to hit a single. I wanted to end it. I just wanted to win.

Naylor said he was sitting on a substitution, but Cotton threw three straight fastballs at him. He fouled a fastball before adjusting his approach and taking the next in the opposite direction.

“I was just waiting for the right pitch and trying to foul the pitches until I got a good one later in the count,” Naylor said. “I tried to damage him, and thank God I did.”

Francona, who jokingly complained of having a sore neck from Naylor’s headbutt as he spoke to reporters, praised the 25-year-old for changing his approach once Cotton (2 -2, 3.66) got two strikes in the count.

“You just hope they open the hole in the short term, get a ball through there and keep playing,” Francona said. “It was pretty special.”

Minnesota took a three-run lead in the top of the inning when pinch hitter Carlos Correa drove into the tee run with a right hit from Eli Morgan. Byron Buxton, the extra runner on second to start the extra innings, moved to third when rookie Richie Palacios caught a foul ball on the left field line by Luis Arraez.

Palacios made a fine play to catch the ball before falling into the net in front of the seats, but couldn’t recover in time to prevent Buxton from 90 feet up. Morgan knocked out Jorge Polanco and edged out Max Kepler before the Twins outfielder smashed his eighth home run in the right seats to put Minnesota ahead by three.

But Naylor’s sharp drive on a 2-2 pitch was Cleveland’s third win of the season and 17th win from behind. Morgan (4-2, 2.75) picked up the win and the Guardians improved to 7-2 in overtime this year. Francona said races matter no matter how or when they are delivered.

“Home runs are welcome from us, but we’ve got what we’ve got and they keep fighting,” Francona said. “If we can score, I don’t care how we do it. It’s good for us to hit a home run once in a while, and that certainly helps.

Cleveland jumped ahead in the first on three hits from Kwan, Rosario and José Ramírez. After a Naylor flyout, Franmil Reyes sent a ground ball short which Jorge Polanco lined up and threw to second to take Ramírez out. But Ramírez’s slip into the sack caused Luis Arraez to widen the first goal, allowing Kwan and Rosario to score and Reyes moving to second on error.

With a 2-0 lead in the third, Kwan singled and Rosario doubled before Naylor tackled Kwan with an RBI sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead. Kwan and Rosario combined to go 7-for-8 with two doubles, a walk and five runs scored. It was Rosario’s fifth game with at least three hits and fourth all-around effort for Kwan in his last nine outings.

The game changed in the fifth, however, when Ramírez lined up in a late-inning double play early with Kwan and Rosario back on base. The momentum shifted to Minnesota when Jose Miranda landed Ramírez’s smash at 107.1 mph and dove to tag Rosario before he could get back to the sack.

“It has a chance to be 5-0, and instead it’s 3-0 and they come right back the next set,” Francona said. “It was a big swing for them.”

An inning later, the Twins tied the game against Quantrill with a three-run inning that included Gary Sanchez’s double with two outs, followed by homers from Alex Kirilloff and Gio Urshela. It was the second time the Twins had gone back-to-back with long balls this season.

For Urshela, it’s his seventh home run this season and his fourth against his former club. Urshela entered the game with a .275 GAA and a .525 GAA in 22 games against Cleveland.

Quantrill bundled and retired Ryan Jeffers on a grounder in the third to end the inning, then laid down the next six Minnesota batters he faced, including a strikeout by Sanchez in the eighth. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks in eight innings, a career high.

It was Quantrill’s 11th start in at least six innings and his 10th quality start of the season, tying Shane Bieber for the team lead.

“They put the cannon on the ball, it was disappointing,” Quantrill said of his sixth inning. “It got us in a bit of a mess, but I think we bounced back well.”

Next: The series ends Thursday with a first pitch of 1:10 at Progressive Field. Cleveland will send right-hander Shane Bieber (3-4, 3.07) to the mound while the Twins counter with right-hander Chris Archer (2-3, 3.14). The game will air on Bally Sports Great Lakes, WTAM 1100 AM and the Guardians Radio Network.

Guardians Gear Link Graphic

Guardians goods for sale: This is where you can order new Cleveland Guardians gear including t-shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies and more.

If you or a loved one have questions and need to speak to a gambling professional, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the from the National Council on the Gaming Program (NCPG) at 1-800-522-4700.

More Guardians coverage

Rosario is back to stack the hits at the top of the lineup

Relentless Twins blank Guards 6-0 in DH nightcap

Clement’s debut as a pitcher ignites Francona’s memory

Rosario’s two-run single lifts Guardians in DH opener

León’s return is a lesson in professionalism, says Francona

Outfield stays well-armed during losing skid

León’s return is a lesson in professionalism, says Francona

Louisville Slugger’s ‘Mobile Museum’ Comes to Progressive Field

Goalkeepers silenced by Twins in 11-1 rout

Francona on Blitzer becomes minority owner: “I’m happy for Paul (Dolan)”

Must Read