Ramirez’s Three RBI Back Bieber to Victory; CLE 5, CWS 3
Bob Toth | On 30, Apr 2021
Ramirez powered the offense with a bases loaded two-run single in the third to put the Indians on top for good, then added a key insurance run late as Cleveland got back to the .500 mark at 12-12 on the season. His efforts provided support to Bieber, who lasted six innings while establishing some new Major League records along the way.
The White Sox took an early lead in the second inning after Bieber fanned the top three hitters in the lineup swinging in the first. Yermin Mercedes got the first hit of the game with a one-out single to center. Bieber struck out his fourth batter of the game, punching out Yasmani Grandal swinging for the second out, but Luis Robert doubled to right-center to drive home the game’s first run. Bieber left him there with a swinging strikeout of Andrew Vaughn.
The Indians were not able to capitalize on early command issues by White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel, who walked batters in each of the first two innings. He got a double play ball to escape the second unharmed, but the Tribe bats got through against him in the third to make him pay for his wildness. Andres Gimenez singled to right with one out. Back-to-back walks by Cesar Hernandez and Jordan Luplow loaded the bases and Ramirez unloaded them with a two-run single to center. A groundout by Franmil Reyes pushed across Luplow with the inning’s third run, and Eddie Rosario plated Ramirez with a single to center to give Cleveland a 4-1 lead.
Chicago struck back in the third with a quick response against Bieber. Nick Madrigal doubled a 2-2 pitch to right and scored two pitches later on a single to right by Tim Anderson. He stole second and came in to score after a strikeout by Adam Eaton on a single to right-center by Yoan Moncada, cutting the score to 4-3. Bieber retired the next two.
Keuchel settled down after his messy third, retiring the Tribe in order in the fourth and fifth before stranding Amed Rosario at first after his two-out single in the sixth.
Bieber pitched a scoreless fourth, but had to battle his way out of the fifth. Anderson notched his second single of the day to open the frame and stole his second bag of the game to put the tying run in scoring position. Bieber struck out Eaton but walked Moncada on four straight to put a pair on. Jose Abreu chopped into a fielder’s choice force at second for the second out, and with runners on the corners Mercedes flied out to right to leave a pair.
Bieber finished up his outing with two more strikeouts in the sixth, giving him eleven on the day.
Bryan Shaw needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order in the bottom of the seventh before the Indians got a big insurance run from Ramirez. He punched a changeup from Evan Marshall over the wall in right for his seventh homer of the season, pushing the Cleveland lead to 5-3.
James Karinchak struck out a pair in a perfect eighth. Emmanuel Clase gave up a leadoff single to Robert to start the ninth, but got three groundouts to end the ball game with his fifth save of the season.
Bieber moved to 3-2 on the year with an effective performance against the Sox. He worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eleven on an even 100 pitches, the fifth time in six starts that he has struck out at least eleven. In hitting double digits for punch outs again, Bieber became the first pitcher in Major League history to strike out at least eight batters in 18 straight games, breaking a tie with Randy Johnson, who accomplished the feat during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
“It’s special. I know what happened tonight, and it’s kind of surreal just to be able to experience that,” shared Bieber postgame. “Obviously at the end of the day all that matters is going out there and giving the team a chance to win, and winning, so I’m really happy with how tonight went.”
Bieber’s strikeout totals through the end of April were also record-setting, as his 68 Ks at month’s end are the most ever recorded.
Chicago (14-11) got missed results from the former Cy Young winner Keuchel. He pitched six frames, posting fours across his stat sheet on 85 pitches. He dropped to 1-1 on the year. The White Sox and Indians have traded off wins through the first six games between the clubs this season.
Ramirez recorded two of the Tribe’s five hits on the night while driving in three to give him 15 RBI on the year. The Indians had only three at bats with runners in scoring position. Hernandez went 0-for-3 and left the game after his at bat in the top of the ninth after being hit by a pitch on his right hand during a missed bunt attempt. He was replaced at second base by Yu Chang, who was put to work with a slew of groundballs at him in the bottom of the inning.
Prior to the game, the Indians selected the contract of reliever Nick Sandlin from the team’s alternate training site, filling the 40-man roster spot vacated by Oliver Perez and the 26-man slot of Logan Allen, who was optioned after his rough outing on Wednesday afternoon against Minnesota. Chicago optioned Danny Mendick to their alternate site as Eaton returned from his one-game suspension.
Robert and Anderson each had a pair of hits for Chicago. Eaton and Grandal struck out three times each.
Game two of the three-game weekend set from Guaranteed Rate Field will take place at 4:10 PM ET on Saturday afternoon. Second-year right-hander Triston McKenzie (0-0, 4.32 ERA) will go for Cleveland, while Chicago is expected to activate Lance Lynn (1-1, 0.92 ERA) from the 10-day injured list to make the start for the White Sox.
Photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images