Will Brennan hits walk-off 3-run homer in the 9th, Guardians beat Twins 5-2

Will Brennan hit a three-run homer off Jhoan Duran with two outs in a wild ninth inning, giving the Cleveland Guardians a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Will Brennan hit a three-run homer off Jhoan Duran with two outs in a wild ninth inning, giving the Cleveland Guardians a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

The inning appeared to be over one batter earlier when Andrés Giménez was called out at second while advancing on a wild pitch, but a crew-chief initiated video review ruled him safe. Josh Naylor was intentionally walked for Duran (0-2) to face Brennan.

Brennan saw a first-pitch curveball and belted it over the wall in right, completing a three-game series sweep by the AL Central-leading Guardians.

“I’ve been in that situation all year and haven’t taken advantage of it, so I kind of took it personal when they walked Nails,” Brennan said. “That’s what he always tells me to do and it paid off. I got a good pitch and ripped one.”

Minnesota had trailed 2-1 with two outs and no one on base in the ninth, but pushed across the tying run without a hit against All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase (3-1).

Ryan Jeffers was hit by a pitch, Willi Castro reached on a fielder’s choice, and pinch runner Byron Buxton came around from second when Clase dropped a throw from Naylor on a potential game-ending grounder to first by Alex Kirilloff.

“You’ve just got to be an athlete and make a play,” Buxton said. “I glanced up and saw I was closer to home than third when (Naylor) picked the ball up. I wouldn’t say I deked him into going to third, but I think I made him think I was staying there.”

The Twins, who have lost a season-high six straight, were outscored 19-8 in the series at Progressive Field. Duran said he wanted to throw a fastball to Brennan in the ninth, but didn’t shake off catcher Christian Vázquez when he called for a curve.

“It’s not my decision,” Duran said. “I need to throw a fastball. I thought that he wasn’t good with fastballs.”

Giménez hit a two-run homer in the first off Chris Paddack, who allowed three hits over a career-high eight innings. The right-hander struck out six in an efficient 100-pitch outing, which would have been a complete game had Minnesota not tied it in the ninth.

Guardians starter Tanner Bibee went seven innings, scattering four hits and giving up a solo homer to Jose Miranda in the third. Miranda was the Twins’ only baserunner to advance past second until the ninth.

“You could hear a pin drop in the park after the (top of the) ninth,” Brennan said, smiling. “It was just a roller coaster. But we kind of knew we were going to walk them off.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: OF Byron Buxton (right knee inflammation), who was activated from the injured list Friday, pinch ran in the ninth. Buxton went 1 for 4 with an RBI in his return from a 14-game absence.

Guardians: OF Steven Kwan (left hamstring strain) is expected to begin a minor-league rehab assignment within 7-10 days. The two-time Gold Glove left fielder has been on the IL since May 5.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Pablo López (4-3, 3.93 ERA) faces Nationals LHP Mitchell Parker (2-2, 3.09 ERA) as Minnesota continues its road trip Monday.

Guardians: RHP Ben Lively (2-2, 3.06 ERA) takes on Mets RHP Tylor Megill (0-1, 2.25 ERA) in the opener of a three-game home series Monday.

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