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AL Central-leading Guardians score 9th straight win at home

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Ben Lively won his career-best fourth consecutive start and Kyle Manzardo hit a bloop two-run single to lead the Cleveland Guardians over the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Saturday.

Lively (5-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four and walking one. The journeyman right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts at home this season.

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The Guardians are Lively’s fourth team since breaking into the major leagues in 2017. The 32-year-old also spent three seasons pitching in South Korea from 2019-21.

The Guardians won their ninth straight game at Progressive Field and are an MLB-best 20-6 at home this season. It is Cleveland’s longest home winning streak since 2017.

It was also the 12th win in the last 15 games overall for the Guardians, who lead the AL Central.

Manzardo hit a two-out single to left field with two outs in the first inning to open the scoring against rookie lefty Mitchell Parker (4-3), plating Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor.

Ramirez scored from second on a wild pitch in the third inning to make it 3-0. Ramirez had two hits and two runs scored.

David Fry extended his on-base streak to 19 games in a row as he doubled, walked and was hit by a pitch.

Emmanuel Clase pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances.

The Nationals scored both of their runs off Lively in the fourth. Joey Meneses drove in the first run on a groundout and Jesse Winker followed with an RBI single.

Parker also worked 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and four walks. He had walked just eight in 44 1/3 innings in his eight previous starts.

Luis Garcia Jr. and Nick Senzel had two hits apiece for the Nationals. Garcia is 10 for 18 (.556) in five career games against the Guardians.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez was ejected for arguing a swinging third strike against center fielder Jacob Young to end the third inning. Young swung at a pitch that appeared to hit his bat but home plate umpire Malachi Moore ruled the pitch struck Young’s left hand.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Guardians: LF Steven Kwan got a scheduled day off after being activated from the injured list on Friday and going 3 for 4 with a walk to raise his batting average to .365. He had been out since May 5 with a strained left hamstring.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Jake Irvin (2-5, 3.43 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale against Guardians RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-4, 5.16), who will be activated from the 15-day IL after being sidelined with neck spasms since May 16.

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