Ramirez Blast Backs Bieber and Bullpen in Tribe’s Win; Indians 4, Angels 3
Bob Toth | On 05, Aug 2018
The Cleveland Indians jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run first inning home run by Jose Ramirez and held on late for a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Tribe took full advantage of a spot start by Deck McGuire, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday to fill in for the injured Tyler Skaggs, who was placed on the disabled list on Saturday. Cleveland would chase him from the contest after retiring just one of seven batters faced and the lead would hold up, giving rookie right-hander Shane Bieber his sixth win of the year.
McGuire, a 29-year-old right-hander with minimal big league experience, gave up a leadoff single to Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the first before walking Michael Brantley on six pitches. McGuire got ahead of Ramirez 0-2, but threw three straight balls before leaving a four-seamer over the heart of the plate for the Tribe All-Star. Ramirez put a charge in the pitch and turned it into a souvenir and a 3-0 Indians lead. McGuire would load the bases before getting the hook from Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, hitting Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch before a single by Yonder Alonso, a strikeout by Melky Cabrera, and a second hit by pitch of Jason Kipnis. Taylor Cole came on and induced a fielder’s choice grounder to third off of the bat of Roberto Perez, with Encarnacion forced at home for the second out before Leonys Martin popped to short.
Cole quieted down the Indians’ noisy start, getting out of a potential jam in the second after a leadoff double from Lindor and a one-out walk from Ramirez as Encarnacion lined out into an 8-3 double play to end the inning. He worked a perfect third and fourth.
Bieber started for the Tribe and got out of his own jams early on. Shohei Ohtani doubled with two down in the first, but was stranded on a groundout by Andrelton Simmons. He retired the side in order in the second and allowed just a single with one down in the third to Jose Briceno.
The Angels put together a bigger threat in the fourth, but were again held scoreless. Simmons reached on a grounder to third and moved to third on a single by David Fletcher and a throwing error from Martin. With the tying run at the plate, Bieber reached back and struck out both Francisco Arcia and Kaleb Cowart to end the inning.
Bieber would not be able to escape another jam unharmed the next inning. With one out, Briceno singled and scored from first on a triple high off of the wall in center by Kole Calhoun. Eric Young Jr. struck out looking for the second out, but Ohtani delivered his fourth RBI of the series with a single to left to drive in Calhoun, making it a 4-2 game. Bieber got Simmons to fly to center to end the inning.
The Indians added what would prove to be a significant insurance run in the sixth inning. With one out and facing new reliever Cam Bedrosian, Cabrera singled to left and was lifted for pinch-runner Brandon Guyer. Kipnis doubled to center, knocking in Guyer while the Indians second baseman moved to third on a throwing error by Simmons. Perez joined Kipnis on base with a four-pitch walk, but Martin grounded the very next pitch into a double play to end the inning.
Cleveland needed three pitchers to get the through the seventh. Adam Cimber came back out for his second inning of work but hit Briceno with a pitch, bringing on Andrew Miller. He got Calhoun to line out before a single by Young. Ohtani was hit by a 1-1 pitch to load the bases, bringing Terry Francona back to the mound for Cody Allen. The right-hander worked out of the dangerous spot, getting Simmons to pop to first for the second out before Fletcher grounded into a force at third to end the inning.
Allen worked a scoreless eighth in a second inning of work, allowing a one-out single to Cowart. Brad Hand entered in a save situation in the ninth, but got into some trouble. Calhoun singled to center, but was forced at second for the first out on a fielder’s choice by Justin Upton. Upton moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a grounder to first by Ohtani. Simmons reached on an infield single to drive in Upton to make it a 4-3 game, but Hand struck out Fletcher on three straight to end it.
With the win, the Indians (61-49) split the season series with the Halos, taking two out of three this weekend. They have now matched a season-high 12 games over the .500 mark, last hit on July 6. The Angels dropped to 55-58 on the year with their second straight defeat.
Bieber came just one out away from a quality start. He worked five and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. He improved to 6-2 on the season with the strong start. Cimber, Miller, and Allen each earned holds, while Hand earned his third save with Cleveland.
McGuire lasted just seven batters and retired only one. He allowed three runs on three hits with a walk, two hit batters, and a strikeout. Cole saved the bullpen and slowed down the Indians, working three and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out three.
Both clubs were once again missing an All-Star from their lineup. Mike Trout missed his fourth straight game while dealing with a right wrist contusion and inflammation. Yan Gomes was held out of the lineup for the second day in a row while dealing with hamstring issues.
Albert Pujols was also out of the LA lineup for a scheduled day off.
Prior to the game, the Angels made a roster move to add McGuire to the staff by designating former Indians infielder Luis Valbuena for assignment. The 11-year big leaguer and 32-year-old had provided just a .199/.253/.335 slash at the plate in 96 games with nine doubles, nine homers, and 33 RBI while striking out 100 times and walking just 19. A year ago in his first season with the Angels, he hit .199 but had 22 homers and 65 RBI in 117 games.
As the Angels leave town to head back to Anaheim, the Indians will prepare for their next opponent in the familiar Minnesota Twins, who will square off with the Tribe for the second straight week. Cleveland will kick off a four-game series with Minnesota beginning Monday night.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images