Josh Naylor celebrates a grand slam against the White Sox. May 9, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Cleveland Guardians right fielder Josh Naylor (22) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a grand slam against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always fascinating when something happens for the first time in MLB history. That history dates back to the 1876 founding of the National League (with the history of some clubs, particularly the Cincinnati Reds, going back further), and given the amount of MLB games played each year, most things have happened at least once before. What Cleveland Guardians’ first baseman Josh Naylor did in the late innings of their road game Monday night against the Chicago White Sox had not, though. Naylor hit a RBI double in the eighth, then, with the Guardians trailing 8-4 in the top of the ninth (and this was after they’d already scored two runs in that half-inning; they entered it down 8-2), came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. And he promptly smacked a grand slam to center field (which he’s seen celebrating above):

But Naylor was just getting started. In the bottom of the ninth, he made an excellent scoop at first base of a throw from José Ramírez to end the White Sox’s chances of winning before extra innings (they also got the bases loaded with two outs, but couldn’t cash in):

And in the top of the 11th, Naylor hit a three-run homer that made the score 12-9 Guardians, the eventual final.

As STATS noted, no MLB player had previously hit two 3-plus-run home runs in the ninth inning or later of a single game:

And as MLB’s Sarah Langs relayed, no one had generated 8+ RBI in the eighth inning or later since RBI became an official stat in 1920:

Naylor, from Mississauga, ON, also tied some Canadian baseball history:

And he had quite the celebration, yelling “I want all the smoke!” as he returned to the dugout:

That was an amazing night for Naylor, and it helped cap his long return from ankle surgery last year. And it was an incredible comeback for the Guardians.

And that’s part of a run of remarkable comebacks across MLB in the past week:

[The Akron Beacon-Journal; photo from Matt Marton/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.