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Guardians top Twins 6-5 in 11 innings, tie for division lead

The two teams return for round two at Target Field, Wednesday.
Credit: AP
Cleveland Guardians' Josh Naylor celebrates after hittting a two-run homer against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

MINNEAPOLIS — Andrés Giménez had an RBI single in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 Tuesday night to move into a tie atop the AL Central Division.

Bryan Shaw, Sam Hentges and Trevor Stephan each tossed a scoreless inning of relief before Emmanuel Clase earned his 16th save in 18 chances for the Guardians.

With Oscar Gonzalez on second, Giménez singled to center field with one out and the Guardians improved to 10-2 in their last 12 games and 16-4 since May 30.

Griffin Jax (4-1) took the loss.

Stephan (3-2) struck out Carlos Correa, Max Kepler and Gary Sanchez, Minnesota’s 3-4-5 hitters, with two-on and nobody out in the 10th.

The Cleveland bullpen has a 1.80 ERA since May 23.

Luis Arraez hit a three-run home run in the seventh to give Minnesota a 5-3 lead, but Franmil Reyes, in his first game in nearly a month, lined a two-run homer off Emilio Pagán with two outs in the eighth to tie it.

A right hamstring injury had sidelined Reyes since May 24. He struck out in his other four at bats.

Down 3-2, Arraez, who leads the majors with a .362 batting average, drilled an offering from Eli Morgan to the seats in right-center for his fourth home run. A few “MVP, MVP!” chants were heard as he rounded the bases.

Morgan had not allowed an earned run in 19 1/3 innings since May 8.

Josh Naylor lofted a home run to the first row of seats in right field for a 3-0 lead in the third, a much better Target Field experience than 51 weeks earlier. Naylor’s 2021 season ended June 27 when the right fielder sustained multiple leg fractures and torn ligaments in a gruesome collision with second baseman Ernie Clement on a fly ball in short right field. He was on the COVID-19 list when the teams met in Minneapolis last month.

Steven Kwan had four hits for Cleveland and José Ramírez was 1 for 5 with a bloop double in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a right thumb injury. He leads the American League with 62 RBI.

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