CLEVELAND, Ohio — Manager Terry Francona said Josh Naylor will have his right ankle examined when the team returns to Cleveland after Sunday’s game against the Rays.
Naylor missed Friday’s game against Tampa Bay because of a sore back. He aggravated his back Thursday night during an at-bat against Boston at Fenway Park.
He was scratched from Saturday’s lineup about a 30 minutes before the first pitch because of soreness in his sugically-repaired right ankle.
“He was on his way to get loose,” said Francona. “All of a sudden he said the ankle went numb on him and it was hard to walk. The hard part is getting him looked at here. It won’t do any good.
“There is so much going on in there. To be fair to everybody we’ll get him looked at when we go home.”
Last year Naylor underwent season-ending surgery after fracturing his ankle in a collision with infielder Ernie Clement at Target Field on June 27.
“I don’t doubt it hurts,” said Francona. “But it’s hard to imagine something significant happened when he was on his way to get loose. So that’s hopeful.”
Naylor has become one of the Guardians most productive hitters In the wake of what appeared to be a career-threatening injury. He’s batting .282 (72-for-255) with 14 homers and 53 RBI. On this trip, he’s hitting .345 (11-for-32) with four doubles, one homer and six RBI. He’s hit four homers from the ninth inning on and is batting .333 (25-for-75) with 39 RBI with runners in scoring position.
For a Guardians team that runs hot and cold on offense, losing Naylor for any length of time at this part of the season would hurt.
Let’s do it again
Reliever Bryan Shaw will make his second consecutive start Sunday as the Guardians close this 11-game trip with their second bullpen game six days.
Shaw made his first start after 732 relief appearances on Tuesday at Fenway Park. He filled the opener’s role, going 2 1/3 innings in a 8-3 win over the Red Sox. Rookie lefty Kirk McCarty did the heavy lifting, going four scoreless innings to earn the win. McCarty will be waiting in the wings on Sunday as well.
The Guardians will get their first look at Tampa lefty Shane McClanahan (10-3, 1.76), who started the All-Star Game for the AL, on Sunday. He is 8-1 in his last 12 starts.
The Guards may be getting their first look at another Tampa Bay player on Sunday — outfielder David Peralta. The Rays officially announced they acquired Peralta in a trade with Arizona following Saturday’s win over the Guardians. Arizona was in Atlanta when the trade was made so Peralta could be in uniform on Sunday.
Peralta, 34, is a free agent after this season. He’s hitting .248 (69-for-278) with 19 doubles, 12 homers, 41 RBI and a .777 OPS.
“He’s just a good baseball player,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “He’s got a track record of playing good baseball. He’s solid in left field, solid with the bat and he’s done a good job hitting right-handed pitching this year.”
The Rays’ outfield has been decimated with injuries to Kevin Kiermaier, Harold Ramirez and Manuel Margot. They currently have 17 players on the injured list.
- Rookie Steven Kwan extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the fifth inning Saturday. Kwan is hitting .367 (22-for-60) in the streak with 13 runs, five doubles, one homer and five RBI. It is the longest streak by a Cleveland rookie since Greg Allen’s 14-gamer in 2018.
- In Friday’s 4-2 win over the Rays, Kwan went 3-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base. It was his ninth three-hit game of the season, the most by a Cleveland rookie since Oscar Mercado had 10 in 2019.
- The Guardians, after Saturday’s loss, have dropped 17 of their last 21 games at Tropicana Field.
- Zach Plesac, who took the loss Saturday, is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA (13 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings) in three starts against the Rays.
Fire down below
Will Brennan homered and drove in three runs Friday as Class AAA Columbus beat Louisville, 9-3. Brennan has 83 RBI between Class AA Columbus and Class AA Akron. Bo Naylor and Bobby Bradley also homered, while Hunter Gaddis (1-0, 2.70) allowed three runs over six innings for the win. . .Jose Tena had two hits as Class AA Akron beat Harrisburg, 2-1. Gavin Williams started and threw three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Carlos Vargas followed with two scoreless innings. . .Joe Naranjo went 4-for-5, but Class A Lake County lost to South Bend, 7-6. . .Richard Paz drove in three runs, but Class A Lynchburg lost to Delmarva, 10-7. Braunny Munoz (2-2, 4.00) allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.
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