May 10, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) belted a two-out, grand slam home run to tie the game in the ninth inning, then added a three-run, game-winning home run in the 11th to lead the Cleveland Guardians to a 12-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday night.
The Mississauga North Baseball Association, Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team alum also collected an RBI double in the eighth inning to finish with eight RBIs, which ties a Canadian single-game major league record (See following graphic).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Naylor also became the first player in major league history to record eight RBIs from the eighth inning on in a game. The Canuck slugger also became the first in big league history to sock two homers that drove in three or more runs in the ninth inning or later in the same contest.
“I’m ready for every challenge,” Naylor told MLB.com after the game. “We’re all ready for every challenge on this team. It doesn’t matter who’s on the mound. It doesn’t matter if it’s Nolan Ryan, we’re ready for it.
After taking three of four from the Blue Jays on the weekend, the Guardians had evened their record at 14-14, but appeared destined for a loss when they were trailing the White Sox 8-4 with two outs in the ninth inning. That was when Naylor walked to the plate to face all-star closer Liam Hendriks with the bases loaded and promptly cleared them with a 421-foot blast to right-centre to tie the game.
The Guardians and White Sox exchanged runs in the 10th before Naylor launched a three-run home run to right field off Sox reliever Ryan Burr in the 11th.
The game also represented the first multi-home run game of Naylor’s big league career. With his performance on Monday, he boosted his batting average to .338 this season and he now has 21 RBIs in 19 games.
The left-handed hitting Canuck began the season on the injured list after sustaining multiple leg fractures in an on-field collision with a teammate last June.
Naylor is now in his fourth major league season.
Josh Naylor has had incredible relative bat speed since he was at least 14 years old, the first time I saw him play. In amateur tournaments, when the host would include a HR contest, I distinctly remember teams hurrying to the event just to watch him unload. Josh swings aggressively, but he doesn’t try to hit HRs. He tries to hit the ball hard somewhere. I remember coaching against his team, the Mississauga North Tigers, putting on the “pull” shift with the outfielders, and having our pitcher throw nothing but soft stuff. Still, Josh had the patience and talent to sit back and drill the ball into LF all three times. I knew at that point he had a future in baseball. On top of all that, he’s a great guy, and what a lesson in perseverence he displayed working through the injury in an all-hustle play last season!
Thanks for your comment and insight, Tom.
Great rundown Kevin. Such a great season he’s having so far….so proud
Thanks for your comment and support, Scott.
Thanks for rundown Josh
Thanks for your comment and support.