Josh Naylor continued to do Josh Naylor things Wednesday night, and even Amed Rosario got in on the action, as the Cleveland Guardians rallied past the Boston Red Sox, 5-2.
Guardians rookie Tanner Bibee started shaky, allowing a walk, a single, and a one-out RBI single in the first inning to give the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead. But he gutted out five innings, allowing four hits, two walks, and two runs (one unearned) while only striking out a pair.
In a bullpen game for Boston, right-hander Kutter Crawford got the start. He was able to work around an infield single that Amed Rosario dropped over his head in the first inning, but then ran into harder contact in the second. After Josh Naylor hit a leadoff double past a diving Masataka Yoshida in left-center, Josh Bell lined an RBI single down the first base line to even the score.
A series of errors by the Guardians in the fourth inning allowed the Red Sox to retake the lead. It started with Andrés Giménez making a diving stop on a grounder from Kike Hernandez in shallow right field. Unfortunately, his throw to first was low and missed the glove of Bibee, who was covering the base for Josh Naylor. Mike Zunino was there to back him up but also managed to lose the ball, allowing Hernandez to advance to second. Even after Bibee was able to retire the next two batters, Hernandez was able to score the go-ahed run after Naylor fielded a grounder at first but then fumbled the ball before he could flip it to Bibee for the out.
Fortunately, that was all the damage Boston would do the rest of the night.
The Red Sox committed their own self-inflicted wounds in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Rosario reached on an infield single, José Ramírez hit a grounder to Casas at first base. The ball deflected off Triston Casas’s glove, but Enmanuel Valdez was behind him to scoop it and flip it to first. But that ball made it clear it wanted nothing to do with Casas’s glove, flying over the top of it and allowing Ramírez and Rosario to end up at second and third, respectively. Cleveland pulled even once again thanks to Naylor’s ensuing RBI single, ending Crawford’s night.
With a new pitcher on the mound, Bell hit a chopper to Rafael Devers at third base, but Devers seemed to get caught up anticipating the throw the ball before catching it and it bounced off his glove as he was trying to field it. It was ruled an error and Ramírez scored the go-ahead run.
The Guardians extended their lead in the fifth inning thanks to back-to-back two-out RBI doubles by Rosario and Ramírez, giving us our final score of 5-2.
The Cleveland bullpen took care of business in the final four frames, only allowing three baserunners. Eli Morgan struck out the side in the sixth inning. Sam Hentges worked around a walk in the seventh inning, and Trevor Stephan stranded a runner at second in the eighth. Emmanuel Clase notched a pair of punch-outs on the way to recording his 20th save.