Will Brennan is grateful to play with 'the best teammates in the world'
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Naylor's tying RBI double was among five consecutive hits for Cleveland in the sixth inning, rookie right-hander Cody Morris got his first big league victory, and the Guardians moved closer to the AL Central title with a 6-3 win over Texas on Friday night.
With their 16th win in 19 games, and Chicago's 5-3 loss at home to Detroit, the Guardians (84-67) can wrap up the division as early as Sunday. They arrived in Texas after a three-game series sweep in Chicago and now have an eight-game lead over the White Sox with 11 games to play.
The Guardians trailed 2-1 before six hits and five runs off Taylor Hearn (6-8), who faced only seven batters after taking over to start the sixth.
Morris (1-2), a seventh-round pick by Cleveland in the 2018 draft, threw the last of his 80 pitches in his fifth career start just before the Guardians' decisive frame. The right-hander allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in his five innings.
All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase loaded the bases after getting the first two outs in the ninth, allowing two singles and hitting Adolis García on his left wrist with a 100-mph pitch, before wrapping up his MLB-best 38th save in 42 opportunities.
Steven Kwan reached on a leadoff single in the Guardians sixth, and then there were five consecutive one-out hits. José Ramírez singled before Naylor's double that ricocheted off the right-field wall. Óscar González and Andrés Giménez followed with RBI singles before Will Brennan's hit plated two runs for a 6-2 lead.
Hearn took over for Jon Gray, who had limited the Guardians to one hit and an unearned run through five innings. But it was only the third start back for the team's opening-day starter since coming off his third trip to the injured list this season; he was out Aug. 2 until Sept. 11 with a left oblique strain. The right-hander threw 87 pitches.
Cleveland played in Texas for the first time since the 2021 regular-season finale, which was the team's last game as the Indians before changing their name to the Guardians after 107 seasons. That was a 6-0 victory to finish 80-82, their only losing record in manager Terry Francona's 10 seasons, though their last division title was in 2018.
García got his 25th stolen base, becoming only the sixth Rangers player with 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in the same season. The last was Ian Kinsler in 2011. García, who also has exactly 25 homers, left the game after getting hit in the ninth.
The Rangers led 2-0 in the second after an RBI single by Kevin Plawecki, the veteran catcher designated for assignment by Boston last weekend and signed by the Rangers on Wednesday. The second run came home on that play on a wide throw by center fielder Myles Straw that got past catcher Luke Maile for an error.
Plawecki’s throwing error in the third when trying to get Naylor at second on a stolen base allowed Amed Rosario, who led off with a triple, to score.
Rangers: RHP Joe Barlow (right index finger blister) was activated from the 15-day injured list. He pitched for only the second time since the All-Star break with one strikeout in a scoreless eighth. Barlow took the roster spot of left-hander Brett Martin, who was placed on the bereavement list.
Right-hander Cal Quantrill (13-5, 3.56 ERA) has gone 9-0 over his last 14 starts since last losing July 5 — and the Guardians have won 13 of those games. Rookie right-hander Glenn Otto (6-9, 4.48 ERA) pitches for Texas on Saturday night.