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Josh Naylor and Ramon Laureano help Guardians beat Braves 4-2 in 11 innings in meeting with top teams

ATLANTA — Josh Naylor and Ramon Laureano had RBIs in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in a game that featured the teams with the two best records in the Majors.

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Scott Barlow escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 10th inning and retired Chadwick Tromp and Jarred Kelenic to get the win. Nick Sandlin pitched a perfect 11th and recorded his first save of the season.

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Naylor went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Steven Kwan went 3-for-5.

Tanner Bibee pitched seven shutout innings for Cleveland, allowing just two hits, nine strikeouts and no walks in his first career start against Atlanta. Bibee has thrown five or more innings with three or fewer runs allowed in 27 of his first 31 career starts, joining Matt Harvey as the only pitchers in MLB history to accomplish the feat.

Dylan Lee took the loss for the Braves. Braves righty Charlie Morton pitched seven shutout innings, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out seven. The veteran threw 63 strikes on 93 pitches. Morton continued a string of quality starts for the Braves. In the last five games, the Atlanta starters gave up only two runs in 36 2/3 innings in the last inning of the rotation.

The win was the seventh in the last nine games for the Guardians, who own the best record in the American League at 19-8.

Cleveland reliever Hunter Gaddis gave up his first two runs of the season in the eighth inning after the Guardians had taken a 2-0 lead.

Travis d’Arnaud hit a double that bounced off the foul line in left field to score Marcell Ozuna. Jarred Kelenic followed with a bloop single that scored Michael Harris II, but pinch runner Luke Williams was thrown out at home by Tyler Freeman.

The Guardians pushed two runs over in the eighth inning without hitting a ball out of the infield. Two infield hits and a bunt loaded the bases for José Ramírez. He grounded to second base and beat the double play, allowing Bo Naylor to score. The Guardians then executed a double steal, with Ramírez just beating the throw to second base to give the Guardians a 2-0 lead.

The Guardians nearly broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning. With two outs and Ramírez on first base, Naylor doubled down the right field line. Ronald Acuña Jr. fielded the ball before it reached the wall and threw it to first baseman Matt Olson, who hit Ramirez at the plate.

NEXT ONE

The three-game series concludes with Braves RHP Bryce Elder making his second start of the season on Sunday against Guardians RHP Ben Lively.

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