MLB: Steven Kwan, Jhonkensy Noel lift Guardians past Giants

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Steven Kwan and rookie Jhonkensy Noel each hit solo homers, six Cleveland pitchers combined to record 14 strikeouts, and the Guardians beat the visiting San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday.

Kwan’s ninth homer came in the second inning gave the hosts a 4-0 lead, but Noel’s blast in the sixth proved critical with Cleveland clinging to a 4-3 edge at the time. The Guardians, who lost 4-2 in Friday’s opener, held on despite giving up seven walks. However, the Giants stranded 10 men and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Cleveland starter Logan Allen fanned nine batters, walked four, gave up three hits and was charged with two runs while lasting 4 1/3 innings. The win went to Pedro Avila (3-1), who gave up a run in his 1 1/3 innings. Emmanuel Clase recorded his 26th save for the AL Central-leading Guardians, who have lost just one 2024 home series.

Back from the injured list to make his first start since June 10, San Francisco left-hander Kyle Harrison (4-4) allowed a lead-off single to Kwan, a walk to Angel Martinez and a single to Jose Ramirez that loaded the bases in the first. Josh Naylor followed with an RBI groundout, then after Harrison reloaded the bases by walking David Fry, Noel’s sacrifice fly to the center field wall made it 2-0. Tyler Freeman followed with an RBI single.

An inning later, Kwan sent a fastball from Harrison into the center field shrubbery. Kwan finished the game 2-for-4 for a major-league-leading .365 batting average.

Harrison allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

The Giants finally broke through in the fifth. Allen opened the frame by walking Jorge Soler, then after Heliot Ramos singled with one out, manager Stephen Vogt removed the left-hander.

Scott Barlow then walked Matt Chapman to load the bases, and after Michael Conforto struck out, Tyler Fitzgerald delivered a two-run single. Chapman scored San Francisco’s third run of the inning on a double steal aided by second baseman Martinez’s throwing error.

With San Francisco’s Luke Jackson on the mound in the sixth, Noel drove the ball just over the 19-foot-high wall in left for his third homer for a 5-3 advantage.

Conforto’s RBI double to the gap in right center in the seventh made it a one-run game again.

–Field Level Media

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