MLB: Guardians face Nationals in search of 8th straight home win

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Strong play at home is a big reason the Cleveland Guardians are among the best teams in the majors.

Meanwhile, the overachieving Washington Nationals look to build on an impressive series victory against another of the majors’ top clubs.

The Guardians look for an eighth straight home victory when they welcome the Nationals on Friday night.

Cleveland is 18 games over .500 and atop the American League Central. Though the Guardians just dropped two of three on the road against the Colorado Rockies this week, they went 4-2 on that trip and return home, where they are 18-6.

“We’re playing good ball, and you drop a series, that’s OK,” Logan Allen, who on Wednesday allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings of a 7-4 defeat to the Rockies, told the Guardians’ official website. “We go right back to it and play some more good ball.”

Cleveland star Jose Ramirez is batting .337 with 11 home runs in his past 23 games. It’s also possible the Guardians will get back left fielder Steven Kwan, who hasn’t played since straining his hamstring on May 4. Kwan is batting .353 in 32 games.

Meanwhile, scheduled Cleveland starter Tanner Bibee (3-1, 3.99 ERA) is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his past three starts. He allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six over six innings in the Guardians’ 4-3 road win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

“That one swing kind of stings a little bit, but I think if I was to walk away (from Saturday’s game) saying, ‘One swing I made one mistake,’ I’m not going to complain about that,” Bibee said.

The right-hander will make his first career appearance against the Nationals, who are 5-2 in the past seven after taking three of four against the Atlanta Braves this week.

“Hopefully we can carry the momentum to Cleveland,” said Nationals outfielder Jesse Winker, who is 7 of 18 in his past six games. “It’s big for a lot of guys. They can pull from (winning the Braves series) and they can see that they can do it, for sure. And we can do it, for sure.”

Though Washington totaled 18 runs, batted .314 and recorded 11 doubles during that series against Atlanta, its starting pitchers posted a 1.93 ERA while striking out 30 with four walks.

Scheduled Washington starter Patrick Corbin (1-5, 6.12) looks to remedy his recent issues with the long ball of late. The veteran left-hander has allowed 12 runs — 11 earned — and five homers over 12 innings in his past two starts.

He yielded four runs and two of those homers in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 9-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Corbin is 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA in three career starts against the Guardians.

Ramirez is 0-for-6 against Corbin.

Meanwhile, Washington’s Lane Thomas returned from missing more than a month with a knee issue to go 6 of 17 with three doubles, a homer and four steals vs. Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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