Steven Kwan, Jhonkensy Noel lift Guardians past Giants

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

Kwan’s ninth homer 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 off San Francisco, which walked seven times but aside from the strikeouts, also stranded 10 men and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Cleveland starter Logan Allen fanned nine batters, walked four and was charged with two runs while lasting 4 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, walk to Angel Martinez and hit 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 before Tyler Freeman added a run-scoring single.

An inning later, Kwan sent a one-out Harrison pitch 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 recorded a one-out single, the left-hander was pulled by manager Stephen Vogt.

Scott Barlow then walked Matt Chapman to load the bases, and after Michael Conforto struck out, Tyer Fitzgerald delivered a two-run single. Chapman scored San Francisco’s third run of the inning on a double steal added 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 right-center field gap in the seventh made it a one-run game again.

–Field Level Media