Steven Kwan, Jhonkensy Noel hit solo homers in Guardians’ 5-4 victory over the Giants

CLEVELAND — Major league batting leader Steven Kwan hit a solo homer and scored twice, Jhonkensy Noel homered and drove in two runs and the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday.

Kwan, who will start in the outfield at the All-Star Game, went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .365. He extended his interleague hitting streak to 11 games and is batting .413 against National League foes.

Noel homered for the third time in eight games since making his major league debut June 26. His towering solo shot to left off Luke Jackson extended Cleveland’s lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning.

The Guardians have the best home record in baseball at 29-11, winning 18 of their last 23 at Progressive Field.

Pedro Avila (3-1) was awarded the win for 1 1/3 innings of one-run relief. Emmanuel Clase walked Matt Chapman in the ninth before wrapping it up for his AL-high 26th save.

Tyler Fitzgerald delivered a two-run single, Michael Conforto had an RBI double and Matt Chapman scored on a double-steal for San Francisco. The Giants have won eight of their last 12, but failed to get back to .500 for the first time since May 31.

Fitzgerald provided the big hit in the Giants’ three-run fifth, while Conforto’s double pulled them to 5-4 in the seventh. Conforto has 10 RBIs and eight extra-base hits in a 12-game stretch.

Kyle Harrison (4-4), who was activated for his first start since June 10, went 3 1/3 innings and gave up four runs. The left-hander had been on the injured list because of a sprained right ankle.

Cleveland scored three times in the first on an RBI single from Tyler Freeman, a sacrifice fly by Noel and a grounder by Josh Naylor. Kwan made it 4-0 in the second with his career-high ninth home run of the season.

Guardians left-hander Logan Allen struck out a season-high nine in 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs.


Giants: RHP Alex Cobb (right shoulder soreness) struck out five over two scoreless innings in his second rehab appearance for Single-A San Jose on Friday. Manager Bob Melvin said Cobb told him that he “felt fine” when they spoke Saturday morning.

Guardians: LHP Matthew Boyd (Tommy John surgery) threw a two-inning simulated game at Progressive Field before the gates opened, reaching 91-93 mph on his fastball. Recent free agent signee Boyd is expected to make his Cleveland debut in August.


Giants RHP Hayden Birdsong (1-0, 4.66 ERA) faces Guardians RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-6, 5.21 ERA) on Sunday int the series finale. Birdsong makes his third big league start since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on June 26.



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