CLEVELAND — Josh Naylor hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning — his third go-ahead homer in three days in that same inning — and the Cleveland Guardians held on for a 4-3 win over the Los Angles Angels on Sunday.
Naylor drove a 2-0 pitch from reliever Carlos Estévez over the wall in right for his latest late-inning heroics.
On Friday, he belted a solo homer to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead, and Saturday night Naylor's three-run highlighted a six-run inning as the Guardians rallied to win 8-6.
As he rounded third, Naylor bumped into a cameraman trying to record another memorable moment by the chunky slugger, who has had a knack for drama the past two seasons. He's hit an MLB-best eight homers after the eighth inning since 2021.
Naylor's homer also pinned a tough loss on Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-2), who held the Guardians to five hits in 7 2/3 innings while matching Guardians starter Tanner Bibee, his former high school teammate.
James Karinchak (1-4) got one out in the eighth, retiring pinch-hitter Mike Trout on a drive to center knocked down by the wind, as the Guardians won the series.
But not before closer Emmanuel Clase had another harrowing ninth. The right-hander gave up two runs, one on an RBI single by Shohei Ohtani, before retiring Brandon Drury on a grounder for the final out and his 14th save.
For seven innings, Bibee dominated the Angels in his fourth starter before they pushed a tying across against him in the eighth. He allowed just two singles — both by Taylor Ward — and struck out seven without a walk.
The 11:35 a.m. start may have helped Bibee him as well as LA's players were still on West Coast time and their bats looked a little sleepy.
The right-hander retired the first 12 hitters without any trouble before giving up a leadoff single to Taylor Ward in the fifth. But the Angels took themselves out of any scoring threat with a baserunning gaffe.
Drury followed Ward's single with a hard ground shortstop Amed Rosario snared and flipped to second for a force. Second baseman Andrés Giménez's return throw was wide of first, and Drury made a motion toward second and was alertly tagged out by catcher Mike Zunino, who was backing up the play.