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Cleveland Indians: Bieber goes nine, Tribe take two of three in Toronto

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TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his complete game shutout with Kevin Plawecki #27 against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his complete game shutout with Kevin Plawecki #27 against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians have gotten pretty good at dusting themselves off following a loss. The Tribe fell to the Blue Jays in extra innings Tuesday after giving up the thinnest of leads in the ninth. You wouldn’t know it by watching them bounce back in Wednesday’s series finale.

Shane Bieber was the highlight of an all-around pleasant evening for the Indians as they blanked the Blue Jays, 4-0. He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before Eric Sogard laced a double to lead off the frame. Sogard’s late double was the only hit Bieber would allow, and the only other Toronto base runner of the night was walked. Bieber finished with 10 strikeouts and his second complete game of 2019.

With the win, Bieber improved to 10-3 on the season, and he is quietly sneaking into the AL Cy Young conversation.

Elsewhere on the diamond, Greg Allen shined. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jose Ramirez also kept up his encouraging second-half pace, earning a couple of base knocks and scoring a run.

Among the key plays that helped seal the Tribe’s victory was a heads-up stolen base by Francisco Lindor in the eighth inning. Lindor doubled with one out in the inning, then caught the Toronto defense napping and stole third, putting himself in position to score on a sacrifice fly. Oscar Mercado came through with a fly ball to center, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Tyler Naquin was out of the lineup for a second straight game. Andre Knott reported on the STO broadcast that he was dealing with some hamstring tightness, but that he believes he’ll be ready to play tomorrow or Friday. Naquin is slashing .296/.328/.611 since returning from an IL stint on June 4, so the Indians hope that is indeed the case.

Next up for the Indians is a trip to Kansas City to face the Royals, whom they just took three of four from last week. On the hill for Thursday’s series opener will be Adam Plutko. Plutko has some unfinished business to address with the Royals after he was tagged for a loss despite logging seven innings and giving up just two hits to Ned Yost’s club this past Saturday.

As of this writing, the Twins are losing 9-7 in the seventh inning to the Yankees. If the Yankees’ lead holds up, the Indians will have closed the gap in the AL Central to two games.

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