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Kwan returns to the Guardians lineup after thigh injury

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians got one of their key players back Friday when two-time Gold Glove-winning left fielder Steven Kwan was activated from the 10-day injured list.

Kwan had been out of action since May 5 with a strained left hamstring. The leadoff hitter had an AL-best .353 batting average and .407 on-base percentage in 32 games when he was injured chasing a foul ball during a game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Outfielder Estevan Florial was recalled to make room on the roster for Kwan.

“We couldn't be happier to have Kwanie back,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said before his team opened a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. “He's worked really hard. Credit to him and the team and everyone who helped him come back so quickly. You can't overstate what he means to us as a leadoff player.”

The Guardians have done well without Kwan, however. While he was on the injured list, they were 17-7 after starting the season 20-12. Cleveland has the second-best record in the AL at 37-19.

Centerfielder Tyler Freeman had been the Guardians' best hitter for 16 straight games through Friday, with a .258 average and a .356 on-base percentage during that span.

“I have to commend Tyler for what he did as the first batter,” Vogt said.

Third baseman Jose Ramirez has also helped make up for Kwan's absence with a turbulent May. In 27 games, he has a .294 batting average with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs.

Florial, 26, had a .173 batting average with three home runs in 36 games. Cleveland acquired him in a trade from the New York Yankees on Dec. 26.

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