Will Brennan clubbed his first major league home run to help the Cleveland Guardians to a 7-5 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals in the third game of a six-game series on Sunday afternoon.
Josh Naylor also had a three-run homer among his two hits for the Guardians (90-69), the American League Central champions who have won 11 of their past 13 games.
Cleveland starter Shane Bieber (13-8) allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits in five innings in his final start before the playoffs. He struck out three and walked one on 80 pitches.
Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his 41st save.
Royals starter Max Castillo (0-2) allowed seven runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two.
MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino each had three hits and an RBI for the Royals (64-95), who have dropped five of six.
Playing in his ninth major league game, Brennan collected his first extra-base hit when he tripled to lead off the first inning. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Amed Rosario for a 1-0 lead.
The Guardians scored six more runs in the second inning, all with two outs.
Oscar Gonzalez delivered one of his three singles to start the inning and Gabriel Arias walked. Castillo got the next two outs, but Brennan pulled an 0-2 fastball over the fence in right for a three-run homer and a 4-0 lead.
Rosario and Jose Ramirez followed with singles before Naylor came up and belted a slider over the fence in right for another three-run homer and a 7-0 lead.
The Royals put two runners on base in the fourth when Edward Olivares and Ryan O’Hearn singled. A throwing error by Arias on a potential double play allowed one run to score. Drew Waters then came through with an RBI single to make it 7-2.
O’Hearn tacked on another run with an RBI single in the seventh to make it 7-3, and the Royals scored twice more in the eighth on RBI singles by Melendez and Pasquantino to cut it to 7-5.
–Field Level Media