Sports

Michael Conforto has a 2-run double, the Giants beat the Guardians 4-2

CLEVELAND — Michael Conforto hit a two-run double as the San Francisco Giants won for the eighth time in their last 11 games, beating the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians 4-2 on Friday night.

Patrick Bailey added a sacrifice fly and Nick Ahmed had an RBI single for the Giants, who built a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning against Guardians ace Tanner Bibee (7-3).

“It’s always big to jump on them early, especially here against him,” Conforto said. “They continued to put pressure on us the whole game, but our bullpen was bending but not breaking.”

Cleveland, which has the best home record in the majors at 28-11, got a solo homer from Josh Naylor and a sacrifice fly from Andrés Giménez.

Ryan Walker (5-3) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. Camilo Doval, the last of seven Giants pitchers, allowed two baserunners in the ninth before earning his 17th save.

“Our bullpen is throwing a lot of innings, and what’s great is every one of us is down to do it,” Walker said. “We want to pick each other up and it’s really fun to be a part of it.”

Bibee, who had won three straight starts, gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out six and failed to get through the fifth for the first time since May 8.

“Going into the second inning at 35 pitches is not a good recipe to go deep into a game,” Bibee said. “I really just didn’t throw strikes in the first and the pitch count was way too up there.”

All-Star left fielder Steven Kwan went 1 for 5, lowering his MLB-best average to .363 for Cleveland. Giménez had three singles.

The Giants scored three times in the first on Conforto’s double off the wall and Bailey’s sacrifice fly. Conforto has nine RBIs and seven extra-base hits in his last 11 games.

“The big thing is just the rhythm with me,” Conforto said. “It’s all about repetition and trusting in the process.”

Conforto also doubled in the fourth, extending San Francisco’s lead to 4-0 when he came home on Ahmed’s attempted safety squeeze that turned into a single.

Cleveland went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and hit into three inning-ending double plays.

“It felt like we had two guys on base every single inning, but didn’t get the big hit,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “Credit to their pitchers.”

Vogt played five seasons for Giants manager Bob Melvin when both were with Oakland. They matched wits for the first time.

“I knew he would wind up managing,” Melvin said. “I told him that because I saw how he related to players.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: LHP Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgery) pitched three innings, allowed three earned runs and struck out three in his seventh rehab outing for Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday. Ray is expected to join the rotation after the All-Star break.

Guardians: OF Will Brennan (rib cage inflammation) continues to ramp up his baseball activities and could come off the 10-day injured list next week, according to Vogt. Brennan has made 56 starts in right field, hitting .256 with eight homers.

UP NEXT

Giants LHP Kyle Harrison (4-3, 3.96 ERA) will be activated to start against Guardians LHP Logan Allen (8-4, 5.75 ERA) on Saturday. Harrison has been on the IL since June 13 with a right ankle sprain.

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

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