Mississauga brothers make history batting back-to-back in Major League Baseball game

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Published October 3, 2022 at 10:56 am

Josh Naylor, left, is congratulated by brother Bo Naylor on Sunday after hitting a three-run home run. (Photo: Getty Images/Ron Schwane)

Some Major League Baseball history was made yesterday (Oct. 2) in Cleveland, and two Mississauga brothers were at the centre of the significant moment.

Josh Naylor, a 25-year-old first baseman/outfielder for the Cleveland Guardians, was joined in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals by his younger brother, Bo Naylor, called up from the minors one day earlier to make his MLB debut.

Josh batted fourth and went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run, his 20th of the season, while Bo Naylor, 22, who’ll serve as the club’s third catcher in the post-season, went 0-for-4 in the fifth spot and is still seeking his first MLB hit after going 0-for-2 Saturday night.

The Naylors, who both hit from the left side, became the third Canadian brothers in MLB history to play on the same team at the same time, and the first since John and Arthur Irwin in 1891. The first Canadian brothers to accomplish the feat were Pete and Fred Wood, in 1885.

Three other Canadian brother duos–Rob and Rich Butler, Jeff and Jordan Zimmerman, and Russ and Gene Ford–have played in the Majors at the same time, but not on the same clubs.

Bo Naylor, who occupied the designated hitter spot on Sunday, made his MLB debut the previous night when he entered the game as the team’s catcher in the sixth inning.

While he went hitless in two at-bats, he did throw out Royals’ speedster Kyle Isbel as he attempted to steal second base.

Guardians’ manager Terry Francona told reporters on Saturday that he put Bo Naylor into the game, in part, to ease the pressure on the top prospect.

“We wanted to let the kid get some nerves out of the way tonight,” he told the media.

While the MLB regular season wraps up on Wednesday, the Naylors will be playing more baseball as the Guardians have clinched the American League Central Division, and a playoff berth.

The Guardians, who downed the Royals 7-5 yesterday, have a 90-69 record, same as the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bo Naylor, a top prospect in the Cleveland system and among the top catching prospects in all of baseball, is the only catcher in the minor leagues this year to have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Josh Naylor, acquired from the San Diego Padres in a 2020 trade, overcame a gruesome leg injury last season to then play a major role in Cleveland’s surprising run to a division title.

He’s hitting .254, with 20 homers and 76 RBIs this season.

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