CLEVELAND -- Leave it to a rookie to help lift the Indians out of a slump.In his second Major League start, Shane Bieber put together a solid outing for his first career win to help the Indians take the series finale with the Twins, 4-1, on Sunday at Progressive Field."The
CLEVELAND -- Leave it to a rookie to help lift the Indians out of a slump.
In his second Major League start, Shane Bieber put together a solid outing for his first career win to help the Indians take the series finale with the Twins, 4-1, on Sunday at Progressive Field.
"The kid's got some poise, man," catcher Yan Gomes said. "He knows what he's doing out there. That's really good to see from such a young guy, coming out there and just pitching his game."
Bieber struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings and worked out of trouble, allowing only one run on 10 hits. The start comes two days after Indians ace Corey Kluber was tagged for four runs and took the loss and one day after Carlos Carrasco also endured a loss after giving up four runs before exiting Saturday's game with a right elbow contusion.
Bieber, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday morning, learned he'd be getting the start shortly after Carrasco exited Saturday's game.
"I just tried to go out there and do my thing," Bieber said. "I tried to be me as a pitcher. I tried to give my team a chance to win and ate up as many innings as I could."
The win moved the Indians to 37-33 and snapped a two-game skid overall and five-game losing streak to the Twins (31-37) this season.
"We had 10 hits off [Bieber] and hit a lot of balls hard," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But he made his best pitches when he was in trouble, and that's to his credit today."
The win proved even sweeter for Bieber, who was handed a no-decision after giving up four runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Twins during his Major League debut on May 31 -- an eventual 9-8 win for the Tribe.
Joe Mauer started the game off with a double and later scored on a double by Eduardo Escobar. Bieber finished the first frame with strikeouts of Logan Morrison and James Dozier, both looking.
Bieber faced his biggest test of the afternoon in the fifth, when he gave up back-to-back singles to Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler to begin the inning. Both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch, but Bieber was able to strike out Mitch Garver and Ehire Adrianza swinging to complete his outing. Manager Terry Francona replaced Bieber with Oliver Perez, who got Mauer to strike out looking to end the scoring threat.
"I think he has tremendous composure," Francona said. "That's part of the reason he won today. It's nice to see anybody execute their best pitches when the game is on the line. Sometimes nobody on, nobody out, it's easy to let it go. But when you have to make a pitch, and you're able to make your best pitch, that bodes well for us."
Bieber's day ended after 89 pitches, but he held the Twins to 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. His outing bested Twins starter Odorizzi, who allowed all four runs over five innings, falling to 3-4 on the season.
"I think it was a super well-rounded win today," Bieber said. "From defense, to bullpen, to hitting and all that. Those guys picked me up early, and we were able to carry on for the rest of the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Indians took the lead with a three-run third inning. Michael Brantley led the frame off with his 14th double of the year. Odorizzi then walked Edwin Encarnacion and Lonnie Chisenhall before yielding a bases-clearing double to Gomes, giving the Tribe its first lead of the series.
Gomes went 1-for-4 Sunday and finished the series 5-for-12 with a home run and five RBIs. The Indians' catcher has 13 hits in 12 games this month and is batting .317 with five doubles and 11 RBIs, which leads all Major League catchers.
"It's nice to get a big hit from somebody else," Francona said. "We can say it a million different ways, but when you have one through nine, and you're getting contributions there, it's nice."
HE SAID IT
"We saw what happened with Cookie [Carrasco], and we saw that the bullpen was kind of thin. Then all of a sudden, Plutko is in the game. Someone from across the clubhouse goes, 'Who's supposed to start for us tomorrow?' All these heads turn, and someone says, 'Maybe you'll be starting in the big leagues.' ... So I was able to hurry up and go back to my apartment, pack everything up and skedaddle out of there." -- Bieber, on learning he'd be getting called up
Right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-5, 2.69 ERA) will get the nod for the first of a three-game series on Monday at 7:15 p.m. ET against the White Sox at Progressive Field. Bauer made his last start vs. the White Sox last Wednesday and allowed three runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts -- his fourth straight start with 11-plus strikeouts. The White Sox will counter with Dylan Covey (3-1, 2.29).
Casey Harrison is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.