Bo Naylor's sac fly in 9th sends AL Central-leading Guardians to 7-6 win over lowly White Sox

Tue, Jul 2, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Bo Naylor's sac fly in 9th sends AL Central-leading Guardians to 7-6 win over lowly White Sox

CLEVELAND (AP) - Pinch-hitter Bo Naylor delivered a sacrifice fly to center field with one out in the ninth inning, sending the Cleveland Guardians to a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

Andres Gimenez opened the inning single off Michael Kopech (2-7), went to second on a groundout and took third on a wild pitch by the right-hander, who snagged his cleat on the mound while making his delivery.

Naylor, who has bumped his average over .200 by hitting .304 in his last 15 games, then lifted a 3-2 pitch deep enough to score Gimenez as center fielder Luis Robert Jr., playing more shallow than usual, didn't bother making a throw home.

Naylor said he wasn't surprised Robert didn't try to get Gimenez.

"A guy like Gimi with elite speed, it's definitely going to be a tough play," said Naylor, who had a walk-off hit against the White Sox earlier this season. "But I knew that once I got it up there, I had all the confidence in my guy to make it there."

Robert, who hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs, said he had no chance of getting Gimenez.

That's probably true, but not making any attempt to keep the Guardians from winning, was not a great look either.

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White Sox manager Pedro Grifol, who was ejected in the seventh for arguing, defended Robert's decision not to make a throw.

"He's playing in. He going back," said Grifol. "Even if he runs back and comes in, there's no play there. If we're going to dissect that, we're making something out of nothing. You're not going to throw that guy out from there."

Rookie Daniel Schneemann and Tyler Freeman hit two-run homers for the Guardians, who won their sixth straight at Progressive Field and improved MLB's best home record to 27-9 - matching the 1938 club for the best start after 36 games.

They also evened their record this season to 4-4 against the lowly White Sox, who have the majors' worst record (24-63). Chicago dropped to 7-17 in one-run games.

"It was one of those games where a lot of little things got away from us," Grifol said, alluding to Kopech's wild pitch and a throwing error by shortstop Paul DeJong in the sixrh when Cleveland scored three unearned runs.

Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (4-1) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, helped by a diving catch from Freeman in center.

Andrew Vaughn also homered for the White Sox, who are 0-14 in road series openers.

Down 6-3, the White Sox tied it in the seventh on an RBI double by Lenyn Sosa and Robert's two-run single, which came moments Grifol was tossed. Pinch-hitter Tommy Pham was angry at a called third strike, and Grifol fought for him before getting tossed by plate umpire Emil Jimenez.

Batting leadoff for just the second time this season, Robert tied it 3-all in the sixth with his homer.

"I tried to do the same whatever spot I'm in the lineup - first, third or ninth, it doesn't matter," Robert said. "No matter what, if you lose, it's always tough. You are here to win games."

END OF AN ERA

A die-hard Golden State fan, Guardians manager Stephen Vogt was sad that Klay Thompson left the team as a free agent after 11 seasons.

"It's going to be weird not seeing Klay in a Warriors uniform," Vogt said. "My son cried a little bit. He's got a Klay Thompson jersey he wears about three days a week to school."

SURPISE MOVE

Grifol was shocked to learn Tim Anderson, an AL batting champion with Chicago in 2019, was designated for assignment by Miami.

The 31-year-old batted just .214 in 65 games for the Marlins.

"I believe in Timmy," Grifol said. "I believe in the kid. I believe in the heart. I believe in the talent, and I hope he gets an opportunity to get back out there and play the game I know he really loves."

Anderson was twice an All-Star in eight seasons with Chicago, which declined a $14 million option on him in the off-season.

UP NEXT

Guardians RHP Gavin Williams makes his season debut after being sidelined with an elbow injury. He'll face White Sox RHP Erick Fedde (5-3, 3.23), who has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors ahead of the June 30 deadline.

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