Shane Bieber pitched another gem for the Indians in a playoff atmosphere and the Cleveland bats beat up on Minnesota starting pitching again as the Tribe rolled to a 6-2 win on Friday night.
A big needed victory for the Indians moved the club to 70-46, matching the Twins for the top record in the American League Central for the first time since April 26. In doing so, they officially trimmed the deficit in the division that once sat at 11.5 games all the way to zero, with two games remaining in the four-game set from Target Field this weekend. The Indians have won four in a row and seven of their last eight games, while the Twins have dropped four straight. The Tribe is now 40-16 since sitting at the .500 mark on June 4, when they started their first home series of the season against the Twins.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and limited the Toronto Blue Jays to just one hit over nine innings in a complete game 4-0 shutout on Wednesday night.
Bieber could do almost no wrong in the series finale from Rogers Centre in Toronto as the Indians claimed a series win and pulled within two games of the first place Minnesota Twins, which dropped its series finale with the New York Yankees. The Indians (59-42) improved to 14-4 in the month of July and have scored twice as many runs (104) as they have allowed (52) through 18 games. The club has raced towards the top spot in the AL Central and holds a two-game lead over Oakland for the top Wild Card spot in the league.
The Twins rallied for three runs in the seventh, but Carlos Santana saved the day with his second homer of the second half as the Cleveland Indians held on to defeat Minnesota by a 4-3 final.
Desperate for a win after opening play after the All-Star break with two tough losses to the first place Twins (58-34), the Indians (51-40) got back into the win column and reduced the gap in the American League Central Division back to six and a half games with a quality start by Shane Bieber that was spoiled by a three-run Twins outburst in the top of the seventh. After Santana slugged the Tribe back in front, the bullpen closed the door despite allowing the tying run to reach in each of the final two innings.
Another member of the Indians will be staying home in Cleveland for the All-Star break. On Friday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced that right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber had been named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement for pitchers scheduled to pitch on Sunday.
Bieber joins starting first baseman Carlos Santana and reserves Francisco Lindor and Brad Hand as the fourth Indians representative for the 90th All-Star Game, set for play on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
The Baltimore Orioles feasted on Cleveland Indians pitching on Friday and Saturday, but they had no answer for a masterful Shane Bieber on Sunday as the Tribe right-hander fired eight shutout innings and Brad Hand worked some ninth inning magic to secure a 2-0 shutout to avoid a series sweep.
The Tribe’s start to a three-city road trip to close out the first half had gone about as bad as it possibly could. Poor starting pitching, equally inefficient relief efforts, and an absent offense contributed to back-to-back 13-0 shutouts for the Orioles. Bieber changed course on those results, shouldering the load for eight solid innings while using the minimal run support produced by the offense to carry the team to a much needed victory.
Mike Minor’s strong start to the 2019 season continued on Thursday as he limited the Indians to just three hits over eight one-run innings to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over Cleveland from Globe Life Park.
The Rangers (40-35), looking to avoid a series loss to the Indians (39-35), got a couple of early runs and got two more late on solo homers off of AJ Cole to split their four-game set against Cleveland. The win moved the club back in front of the Indians, who were unable to take advantage of a low scoring contest from Arlington. Despite taking the L, Cleveland still returns home with positive overall numbers from a 5-2 road trip through Detroit and Texas.
For four innings, the Indians could not strike through against left-hander Gregory Soto, fresh up from Triple-A Toledo to head up a bullpen game for the Tigers. Once he left the mound, the Indians put together a big inning and used another strong pitching performance from Bieber, who struck out a dozen, to hold on for victory.
The Indians rallied back from a 5-0 hole on Sunday and tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on the second error of the inning by the Yankees, but two doubles in the tenth gave New York a 7-6 win over Cleveland.
With Masahiro Tanaka pushed back from his scheduled start on Sunday due to the birth of his second child, the Yankees went with a bullpen game. The Indians essentially did the same as Shane Bieber was chased from the mound with just two outs in the second inning as the Yankees put up an early five-spot to take a big lead.
Progressive Field served as a launching pad on Tuesday night as Cleveland and Minnesota combined for six home runs, but the Indians had four of the blasts to earn a much needed victory over the Twins in a 5-2 final.
Right-hander Shane Bieber’s strong second campaign for the Tribe continued as he pitched into the eighth inning, allowing a pair of solo homers and five hits in total while striking out seven to earn his fifth win of the season. Francisco Lindor figured out rookie southpaw Devin Smeltzer, who was pesky his first couple of trips through the order but had few answers for the Indians’ All-Star shortstop, who put a pair of souvenirs into the bleachers to help pace the Cleveland offense.
The Cleveland Indians scored runs in each of the first seven innings and held off Boston late to earn a second big win over the Red Sox in as many days behind a 14-9 final from Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Carlos Santana fell a single short of the cycle but reached base five times, scored a career-high four runs, and drove in five as the Indians’ offense was alive and well in the series finale from Beantown in a game that will not be remembered for quality pitching. Three different Tribe hitters had three hits, all nine starters reached base safely throughout the day, and the team got a win for starter Shane Bieber despite a sloppy six runs scattered over a five-and-fly as the two clubs combined for 23 runs on 32 hits.
A two-run bottom of the eighth pushed the Cleveland Indians past the Tampa Bay Rays by a 3-1 final on Friday night to end a four-game losing streak.
It was hardly the prettiest victory that the Indians could find, but it resembled just the kind of way that Cleveland has needed to perform to eke out victories this year. The Indians used a strong (but short) pitching performance from Shane Bieber, four shutout innings from the bullpen, and a late rally to hold off a tough Tampa Bay squad.
But Shane Bieber makes it all right for a little while. In a little over a year since his debut (pressed into service in a doubleheader against the Blue Jays), he’s done just about everything that could be asked of him.