Naylor brothers homer in same frame, then win game on Sibling Day

April 11th, 2024

CLEVELAND -- was sitting on the bench, watching his younger brother, , stand in the box with the bases loaded and the game tied in the bottom of the 10th inning. Josh kept mumbling to himself, “You're born for this moment. Be ready. You're prepared.”

How did he know Bo was prepared when he’s never had a walk-off plate appearance in the Majors? Well, he saw him deliver as kids in the backyard. While holding thick, miniature bats, their dad would shout out a count or a situation before tossing them a pitch. Just like so many of us did, imagining it was the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win the game. Yet with the Naylors, they get to live out this fantasy on a big league field with their brother by their side.

For the second time in their careers, Josh and Bo each hit a homer in the same inning. This time, it came in the fourth frame against the White Sox on Wednesday at Progressive Field to cut Cleveland’s deficit to two. They had already accomplished the feat last July in Texas.

It was like he had that plastic bat in his hand. Without showing any signs of being rattled, the younger Naylor delivered the walk-off single in the Guardians’ 7-6 victory over the White Sox at Progressive Field on Wednesday night. As special as that moment was for them to share together, this game -- ironically held on National Siblings Day -- was all about the two brothers, starting in the fourth inning.

The Guardians had fallen behind by five runs for the second consecutive night. But just like Tuesday, they started to chip away. Josh was the one who set the tone in the fourth with a one-out solo shot into the bullpen in right-center field that flew a projected 432 feet. After Ramón Laureano was hit by a pitch, Bo followed in his big brother’s footsteps by launching a two-run blast of his own to dead center a projected 416 feet.

Just how rare is it for brothers to homer in the same inning? Elias Sports Bureau tell us this is the 10th instance since 1900:

April 10, 2024: Josh and Bo Naylor, CLE
July 14, 2023: Josh and Bo Naylor, CLE
April 23, 2013: B.J. and Justin Upton, ATL
April 6, 2013: B.J. and Justin Upton, ATL
May 28, 1996: Billy and Cal Ripken, BAL
Sept. 15, 1990: Billy and Cal Ripken, BAL
July 12, 1962: Hank and Tommie Aaron, MLN
Sept. 15, 1938: Lloyd and Paul Waner, PIT
July 19, 1933: Rick (with BOS) and Wes (with CLE) Ferrell
Sept. 4, 1927: Lloyd and Paul Waner, PIT

“I even mentioned it when I went out for the pitching change,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said, “and I was like, ‘Oh, homer in the same inning as your brother. Pretty cool, huh?’ Bo was a lot more excited about it than Josh. Probably a shocker to everybody.”

Josh and Bo have very similar approaches to the game, but very different personalities.

Guardians fans have seen for the last handful of years how intense Josh can get when he’s between the lines, so Vogt’s joke about Josh hardly cracking a smile about the feat was no surprise. But the way the two brothers were raised has created an undeniable force on the field for the same team -- something that they haven’t taken for granted.

“Every time I am in the locker room, I get to be able to hang out with my brother, it's a new special moment,” Bo said. “Every time I'm out there on the field, every end of inning I get to throw a ball over to him, it's special. So for me, it's a new part of the journey every day and I'm super grateful to be able to share these experiences with him.”

After the fourth inning, they got to share another experience together in the 10th. Once again, it was big brother setting the tone, as Josh sent a game-tying double to the opposite field before getting replaced by a pinch-runner, sending him to the bench to watch Bo get his chance to deliver with the bases loaded and two outs just a few hitters later.

With a 1-2 count, Bo kept his composure and served a single into right field that easily plated the winning run. As his teammates raced out onto the field to celebrate, Josh jogged, clapping his hands together, as if he knew that was going to be the end result.

Of course he did. He’d seen it play out like this plenty of times in the backyard.

“I knew [us playing in the Majors] would come true eventually if we just keep working hard,” Josh said. “We'd either play against each other or play with each other, and God's good and we're able to play with each other.”