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Josh Naylor hits a two-run HR to help Cleveland Guardians beat Oakland Athletics

CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer and celebrated by hitting himself in the helmet with his bat, giving the Cleveland Guardians the go-ahead goal in a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

Naylor’s drive in the fifth off Alex Wood drove in Steven Kwan, giving Cleveland a 4-2 lead. The animated slugger delivered a two-handed slap to his head as the ball cleared the right-center fence and then spiked the wood onto the grass.

Two innings later, Naylor drove in Kwan again, with an RBI single off Austin Adams.

Kwan doubled twice and had two singles — his MLB-high sixth three-hit game — and José Ramírez and Ramón Laureano had RBI doubles for the Guardians, who have the best record in the American League at 15-6.

Cleveland and rookie manager Stephen Vogt have won six of their last seven and are off to their best start through 21 games since 1999.

Guardians starter Logan Allen (3-0) pitched five innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Emmanuel Clase scored the ninth for his sixth save in eight chances.

Max Schuemann tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth with his first big league goal, prompting an emotional celebration with his family in the stands. Schuemann, a 26-year-old who made his debut on April 12, also stole a base.

Ryan Noda had a solo homer in the fifth and Shea Langeliers added a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning for Oakland.

Wood (0-2) gave up four runs in five innings, lowering his ERA to 7.89 after five starts.

Ramírez and Laureano opened the scoring in the first inning with sharp RBI doubles just inside the third base line. Laureano spent 5 1/2 years with the Athletics before being claimed off waivers by Cleveland on August 7.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: 3B J.D. Davis (right groin strain) did not resume baseball activities but was cleared to run on a treadmill on Friday. Davis is eligible to come off the 10-day IL on April 25.

Guardians: LHP Sam Hentges (left middle finger inflammation) worked one scoreless inning, throwing 10 strikes in 14 pitches, in his first rehab appearance for Double-A Akron on Friday.

NEXT ONE

Athletics RHP Ross Stripling (0-4, 5.32 ERA) will face Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (1-0, 4.82 ERA) in the finals of the three-game series. Stripling is tied for the major league lead in losses, while Bibee has averaged 4.7 innings and 4.5 strikeouts in his first four starts.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb