Tanner Bibee and David Fry lead Guardians to their eighth straight home win, 7-1 over Nationals

CLEVELAND — Tanner Bibee recorded a shutout in the seventh and David Fry’s three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning broke open a close game as the Cleveland Guardians defeated the Washington Nationals 7-1 on Friday night.

Bibee (4-1) allowed one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Eddie Rosario’s RBI double with one out in the seventh inning haunted Bibee and pulled the Nationals within 2-1.

Bibee, runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year last year, has a 1.82 ERA in his last five starts. Luis Garcia Jr. had the other two hits off Bibee with singles in the fourth and seventh, and had another single in the ninth off closer Emmanuel Clase.

“He was phenomenal,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said of Bibee. “He just comes down and he really had a top rail today. He was just so much fun to watch.”

Bibee left with the one-point lead before the Guardians had a four-point seventh. Josh Naylor brought home a run with a force out grounder and Fry followed with his eighth home run of the season, a blast to left center field off Robert Garcia.

Fry made his Major League debut last season, but was unable to make the team out of spring training. However, the utility man has become one of the Guardians’ leading hitters with a .352 batting average in 40 games.

“I’m just trying to be prepared and be a professional every day and get some at-bats,” Fry said. “Luckily Vogter fought for me, put me in the lineup and all I can say is that I am grateful for that.”

Guardians leadoff hitter Steven Kwan had three hits, two runs scored and a walk after being activated from the injured list for the game. He increased his batting average to .365 through 33 games.

“The guy’s been out for three or four weeks and then he comes in and starts hitting, hitting, hitting, like whatever,” Bibee said. “Pretty amazing.”

Kwan struck out in the first inning, ending his streak of 74 at bats without a strikeout, but drove in the game’s final run with a bloop single in the eighth.

“That first at-bat definitely felt like I had been gone for a month,” Kwan said with a smile. “But I’ve done a lot of mental reps, I’ve had a lot of virtual at-bats, and it’s been nice to see some of that work pay off.”

The Guardians’ José Ramírez drove in a run with a groundout in a two-run third that broke a scoreless tie and finished with 33 RBIs in May. That’s the second-most May in franchise history, behind Al Rosen’s 38 for the 1954 pennant-winning team.

The AL Central-leading Guardians’ other run in the third came on Tyler Freeman’s single off Patrick Corbin (1-6), who lost despite scoring two runs in six innings. The left-hander gave up six hits and three walks, while striking out five.

Cleveland won its eighth straight home game after a 4-2 road trip to the Los Angeles Angels and Colorado. The Guardians’ home record (19-6) is the best in the major leagues.

Freeman and Andres Gimenez also scored two goals for the Guardians.

The Nationals, who had won five of their previous seven games, had a late night. They didn’t arrive at their Cleveland hotel until 5 a.m. Friday after playing a night game in Atlanta and then experiencing travel delays.

Manager Dave Martinez allowed the players to report late to the ballpark and canceled batting practice.

Nationals: RHP Cade Cavalli (Tommy John surgery) threw 2 2/3 innings for High-A Wilmington on Thursday night in a rehab start. Although he didn’t give up a hit, Cavalli was charged with two runs, as he struck out five and walked three.

Guardians: Kwan (strained left hamstring) had been out since May 5. OR Estevan Florial was designated for assignment. … RHP Gavin Williams (right elbow inflammation), who has been sidelined all season, made his first rehab start for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. He pitched one inning and allowed two runs – one earned – and two hits, while striking out two and walking two.

Nationals rookie LHP Mitchell Parker (4-2, 3.45 ERA) will start Saturday against Guardians RHP Ben Lively (4-2, 2.80). Lively has won his last three starts and Parker has victories in each of his last two starts.

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Clase’s first name to Emmanuel.


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