Tribe is Battery Powered as Indians Avoid Sweep Against Twins; Indians 4, Twins 1

Shane Bieber stepped in with a big spot start and his battery mate Yan Gomes cleared the bases with a three-run double in the third as the Indians avoided a sweep with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins from downtown Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.

Bieber got the call from Columbus to make a spot start for Adam Plutko, who jumped into long relief on Saturday after the Indians lost Carlos Carrasco to an injury in their 9-3 loss to the Twins. While he had a tough time keeping the Twins off of the bases, Bieber was able to keep them off of the scoreboard, helping the Tribe make four runs of offense stand up while earning their first win of their most recent homestand.

The Twins got to Bieber in the first in an all-or-nothing frame. Joe Mauer started the afternoon with a double and after a strikeout of Eddie Rosario, Eduardo Escobar doubled home Mauer to give the Twins the early 1-0 lead. With a runner still in scoring position, Bieber pitched his way out of the mess, striking out the next two batters looking.

Gomes – Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Jake Odorizzi took his third turn of the season against the Tribe but was once again unable to contain the Cleveland bats. He walked a batter in an otherwise quiet first, but a sloppy second allowed the Indians to tie the game. Lonnie Chisenhall tripled to left before a strikeout by Gomes. Tyler Naquin extended his hitting streak to eleven straight with a single to center, scoring Chisenhall with ease to tie the game at one. Erik Gonzalez struck out before a single by Rajai Davis put two on for the top of the order, but Francisco Lindor struck out swinging to end the inning.

Bieber pitched around two base runners in the third after a two-out double from Escobar and a walk by Logan Morrison. The Cleveland offense then put up the biggest inning of the afternoon to give him his first lead of the day. Brantley started the inning with a double and moved to third on a grounder by Jose Ramirez. Edwin Encarnacion and Chisenhall each drew walks to load the bases and Gomes unloaded them with a double to deep center, making it a 4-1 ball game. Gomes would move to third with one out on a wild pitch, but Naquin and Gonzalez could not drive him in.

The Tribe’s 23-year-old rookie hurler allowed a leadoff single to Robbie Grossman to start the fourth, but left him at first. A pair reached in the fifth, when Rosario singled with one out and moved to third on a double by Escobar, his third hit in three trips. With the tying run at the plate, Morrison struck out and Brian Dozier grounded to short to keep the score at 4-1.

The first two Twins to the plate in the sixth reached on singles from Grossman and Max Kepler. A wild pitch moved both into scoring position before Bieber notched his sixth and seventh strikeouts of the day and turned the ball over to Oliver Perez, who struck out Mauer looking in the lefty-lefty matchup to leave two key base runners on the diamond.

Odorizzi was done after five, having given up a one-out walk in the fourth and a two-out single to Chisenhall in the fifth. The Indians would get just two more runners on base the rest of the game, but the bullpen was able to protect the three-run lead. Perez set down the side in order in the seventh, adding a second strikeout to his day’s work. Neil Ramirez walked Taylor Motter with one out in the eighth, but retired the other three batters that he faced. Cody Allen took the ball for the ninth, walking the leadoff man Ehire Adrianza before Mauer grounded into a double play and Rosario struck out swinging in a rare game with minimal impact from the slugging outfielder who has punished Tribe pitching throughout his career.

Bieber – Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Bieber earned his first Major League win with five and two-thirds innings of one-run baseball. He allowed ten hits and walked one while striking out seven in his second big league outing. Odorizzi pitched five frames and allowed four runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts while taking another loss. Allen’s save in the ninth was his 14th of the year.

Both clubs left plenty of extra base runners, as the two teams combined to go 3-for-20 on the day with runners in scoring position. The Twins stranded ten after getting ten hits and three walks on the day, while the Tribe left seven.

Chisenhall and Brantley each had a pair of hits for Cleveland. Chisenhall scored the team’s first run of the game and was one of three to score on Gomes’ bases-clearing double that proved to be the deciding hit. Naquin extended his hitting streak to eleven games with his 1-for-3 day at the plate.

Minnesota wasted a good game from Escobar, who continued his incredible June with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with three doubles while driving in the Twins’ only run. Grossman had a pair of hits in three trips before leaving for a pinch-runner.

Prior to the game, the Indians made a handful of roster moves, placing pitchers Carrasco and Tyler Olson on the 10-day disabled list. Bieber was called up from Columbus, as was reliever Evan Marshall, who makes his third trip to the Tribe roster this season.

The Indians will continue their nine-game homestand on Monday as the Chicago White Sox come to Cleveland for a three-game series. Right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-5, 2.69 ERA) will pair up with Chicago right-hander Dylan Covey (3-1, 2.29), who defeated the Indians in his last start.

First pitch of the opening game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Monday night.

Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images

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