MLB: With rotation getting healthy, Giants take on Guardians

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The San Francisco Giants’ starting rotation is about to get a major boost over the next few days.

That help begins to arrive Saturday when Kyle Harrison returns from injury to face the Cleveland Guardians, who’ve lost just one home series this season. The Giants are hoping to secure a third consecutive victory and fourth straight winning series.

Before San Francisco welcomes back reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell next week, and possibly Robbie Ray and Alex Cobb soon after, Harrison (4-3, 3.96 ERA) returns from an ankle injury to make his first start since June 10. In that contest, the left-hander allowed a run and four hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings in the Giants’ 4-3, 10-inning home victory over the Houston Astros.

“(That) was just his best stuff we’ve seen in a while,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said of Harrison, who pitched into the seventh for only the second time in 14 starts this season.

Now healthy, Harrison hopes to help the Giants continue their surge after opening this three-game series with a 4-2 victory Friday. Michael Conforto hit a two-run double in the first inning, and seven Giants pitchers contained a Cleveland offense that entered averaging five runs.

The Giants have won eight of 11 while taking consecutive series versus the Chicago Cubs, rival Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.

“Everything is kind of clicking,” Conforto told NBC Sports Bay Area. “There’s just a lot of really great things happening right now.”

Giants starters have a 3.45 ERA in the past 11 games, and Harrison hopes for a better outing than he delivered in his only career outing against the Guardians. He lasted just four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) and seven hits in San Francisco’s 6-5 win in 10 innings last season. Josh Naylor went 2-for-3 versus Harrison in that contest.

Naylor clubbed his 21st homer Friday, but the Guardians stranded 11, went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and grounded into three double plays.

“One of those nights where we had traffic (but not much else),” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “These nights happen. It’s frustrating.”

Though Cleveland leads the American League Central and is 28-11 at home, it has dropped six of the past nine overall. The only time the Guardians have lost a home series this season came against the New York Yankees in mid-April.

Logan Allen (8-4, 5.75) is scheduled to get the start for the Guardians on Saturday. He is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in five career appearances (one start) against San Francisco. Though the left-hander is tied for Cleveland’s team lead in wins, he’s given up nine runs and 15 hits over 7 1/3 innings of his past two outings combined.

Allen yielded three runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings during the Guardians’ 6-2 loss at Kansas City on Sunday.

He’s never faced San Francisco’s Heliot Ramos, who is batting .302 since making his season debut on May 8. With two hits Friday, Ramos is 11-for-24 in the past six games.

Naylor is batting .375 with six RBIs in the past six contests. Jose Ramirez, though, is just 2-for-17 in the past four games.

–Field Level Media

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