With the way Shane Bieber has pitched so far this year, run support does not need to be a priority. Six shutout innings of six-hit baseball from the Tribe’s ace and three strong innings of relief led the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 shutout on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Indians (16-9) put together a perfect road trip through Detroit and Pittsburgh over the last week by riding the stellar starting pitching that has dominated the opposition for the bulk of the season. The club had a frustrating night of missed opportunities at the plate, but the five pitchers to take the mound for the Indians on Thursday limited the Pirates (4-17) to just six hits and a walk in a second straight scoreless effort in Pittsburgh.
The Cleveland Indians’ depth behind the plate will be tested this season as starting catcher Roberto Perez was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday with a right shoulder strain.
Perez had experienced discomfort with the shoulder since making an impressive play during the Indians’ season opening game against the Kansas City Royals, when he tracked down a third strike wild pitch, slipped, and completed the throw to first from the seat of his pants. Perez jammed his shoulder on the play and felt some tightness but tried to push through it in the days that followed. It continued to persist, leading the Indians to select the contract of backstop Beau Taylor from the team’s minor league camp in Eastlake on Tuesday, less than a day before placing Perez on the IL.
He will be shut down from throwing for a week before he is re-evaluated, but he will continue to work out with the other players on the 60-man roster at the team’s Alternate Training Site in Eastlake.
The Indians continue to bring in the reinforcements at catcher as for the second time in a week, the front office has added at the position.
Cleveland announced on Friday that the team had come to terms on a minor league deal with a spring training invite with 29-year-old Beau Taylor, who split last season with the Oakland and Toronto organizations.