Guardians use 5-run fifth inning to storm past A’s

Tyler Freeman hit a two-run homer and Josh Naylor added a solo shot as the Cleveland Guardians opened a three-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics with a 10-2 victory on Friday.

Steven Kwan and Andres Gimenez each drove in two runs for Cleveland, which won for the fifth time in six games and improved to an American League Central-best 14-6.

Abraham Toro hit a leadoff home run in the first inning to give the A’s an early lead. Brent Rooker added a solo shot against Scott Barlow in the ninth for Oakland’s only other run.

Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie (2-2) allowed one run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts over five innings.

Estevan Florial went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Freeman had two hits for the Guardians, who have won four of the first five meetings against the A’s this season. Cleveland has outscored Oakland by a combined 39-13 score.

The Athletics loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but McKenzie escaped the jam when Toro fouled out.

The Guardians moved ahead in the bottom of the second inning against Joe Boyle (1-3). Will Brennan drew a one-out walk ahead of Freeman, who delivered a two-run homer to right field.

Cleveland drew clear with five runs on four hits in the fifth inning. After loading the bases with one out, the Guardians went up 4-1 on Kwan’s two-run double.

Gimenez followed with a two-run single and stole second base before scoring on Jose Ramirez’s single.

Boyle exited after giving up seven runs over six innings. He allowed five hits, walked four and struck out three.

Cleveland extended its lead with three runs on three hits in the eighth inning, including Naylor’s one-out solo homer against Kyle Muller.

Oakland struck out 10 times and was held to six hits in the opener of a 10-game road trip. The A’s had allowed a major-league-low nine homers before giving up two on Friday.