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Reyes Propels Guardians To Extra Innings Win Over Twins With Timely Home Run

The Cleveland Guardians just keep finding ways to win.

The Guardians resumed their road trip Tuesday night in Minneapolis with a three-game series with divisional rival Minnesota Twins. And, if tonight's game is an indicator of what's ahead -- sign me up, this is going to be one heck of a ride.

Before the game, the club announced a series of roster moves including activating Franmil Reyes and Aaron Civale from the Injured List, optioning Nick Sandlin to Triple-A Columbus, and designating Oscar Mercado for assignment.

With the moves, both Civale and Reyes were both inserted back into the lineup -- with Civale taking the mound as the starting pitcher and Reyes resuming his role as the DH.

Civale's Comeback

In his return, Civale pitched five innings and allowed five hits, two runs, one walk, and had seven strikeouts. The right hander threw 80 pitches on the night -- 56 which were strikes and 24 balls. 

Civale looked good in his return after working through his rehab assignments down in Columbus. He had not pitched in the majors since exiting the game with a glute injury on May 22 following his best outing of the season against the Tigers.

Lineup Shakeup

One of the more noticeable changes came prior to the start of the game when the lineup was released. Myles Straw was essentially swapped out of the leadoff spot to the nine-hole for Steven Kwan.

This move would prove to be a great one as Kwan not only lead off with a single which resulted in a first inning run, but he also went 4-for-6 on the night.

José Jumps Back In 

Following the Guardians 2-1 extra-innings win in Los Angeles on Friday, José Ramírez was pulled from the lineup for the next two games due to thumb soreness.

The club would go on to win the series on Sunday, and with Monday's scheduled day off, it gave him three precautionary days off. Ramírez went 1-for-5 on the evening with a double and made some nice plays at third to help keep the Twins at bay.

Tough As Nayls

Josh Naylor has been trading off between the DH and first base role, and will likely be settling in more on the line with the return of Reyes. In Tuesday night's game, Naylor had a 2-for-4 performance including a two-run shot in the third to give the Guardians the 3-0 advantage.

It is evident Naylor is playing through discomfort since returning to the field this year following his season-ending ankle injury in 2021 which so happened to have occured at Minnesota. But, his fiery spirit and competitive nature has continued to shine any time he steps between the lines.

The Return of Reyes

Reyes was the other Guardian to make his return this evening, and the start of the game he looked a little unbalanced. Reyes had played in five games while on his rehab assignment, and in that time, he batted .429 including a double, two home runs, and six RBIs.

You could tell he was pressing to make an impact to start, but in the eighth, he finally got the one he was looking for and smashed a ball over the center field fence to tie the game 5-5. He struck out during each other at bat on the night, but got the hit that mattered most.

Bullpen Bends, Not Breaks

The Twins had scored two off of Civale in the fourth, and Enyel De Los Santos took over for the Guardians in the sixth. After a one-two-three inning, he was back out on the mound in the seventh.

After a strikeout and a walk, Terry Francona went to Eli Morgan, who has been spectacular as of late, but gave up a double and home run to give the Twins a 5-3 lead.

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Bryan Shaw came in and locked it down in the eighth after Reyes tied it in the half inning before, and Sam Hentges escaped the ninth unscathed. Luke Maile, who replaced pinch-hitter Richie Palacios, caught Nick Gordon stealing in the inning.

Trevor Stephan would take the hill in the tenth with pressure as the runner was placed on second to start. After walking Byron Buxton, Stephan struck out the next three batters which were the Twins three-four-five hitters.

The Final Inning

With Oscar Gonzalez placed on second in the 11th, Andrés Giménez would come through in the clutch with a single to center to give the club the 6-5 advantage.

In the bottom of half of the inning, Emmanuel Clase came in to get the save. With two down, Jose Miranda sent a ball about as deep as it could go to left field and it looked like it could be heading out as Kwan settled under it to make the catch -- exhale.

The Guardians improved to 35-28 after the win and are nestled up with the Twins atop the AL Central. Buckle up, this ride is just getting started.

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