Cleveland Indians: Bieber bests Twins, Lindor lifts Tribe to win

Starting pitcher Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Starting pitcher Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians bested the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night to even the series and force the rubber match on Wednesday.

The Cleveland Indians got off to a strong start both on the mound and at the plate on Tuesday night at Progressive Field, but it didn’t last long as the game quickly turned to a mound battle before a big blast in the sixth inning got the scoring going again.

In the bottom of the first Jose Ramirez finally broke the struggle he’s been in with a single before stealing not only second, but third as well. Carlos Santana was able to slap a base hit through the infield to score Ramirez and grant the Indians the early 1-0 advantage.

The Twins soon answered back. With runners on first and second, Luis Arraez knocked an RBI double to bring the game back to a tie. Minnesota was able to add another before the end of the inning to take a 2-1 lead with Max Kepler bringing Arraez around from second on a single to right.

After the second inning the game turned into a pitcher’s duel, seeing multiple scoreless innings that followed. Shane Bieber continued to dominate on the mound once he settled in, tallying seven strikeouts through the first five innings, including hitting the 70 mark for the season.

Rich Hill hit a groove as well in the middle of the game. In the fifth inning, Hill struck out the side to continue a streak of four straight strikeouts that began with Domingo Santana to close the fourth inning. However, that would be the end of Hill’s day as the Twins opted for the bullpen to start the bottom of the sixth, putting in Jorge Alcala.

Hill concluded the game with one run allowed on four hits and two walks over five innings while striking out five.

After a single by Ramirez to get the inning going against Alcala, Francisco Lindor blasted a two-run home run to reclaim the lead for Cleveland, 3-2. The round-trip was Lindor’s fifth of the season and moved his RBI tally to 15.

The Indians weren’t done yet. After Lindor’s shot, Santana drew a walk and then advanced to second on a ground ball before scoring on a Tyler Naquin double, marking Naquin’s fifth RBI of the year.

As the Indians transitioned to the seventh, Bieber’s day came to a close as well with Oliver Perez taking over. It was another solid outing for Not Justin, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out 10 over six innings of work, eventually earning the win to improve to 6-0 on the year.

Perez and then James Karinchak kept the 4-2 lead in check in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. The pair combined to allow just two hits and one walk over the two innings with Karinchak registering another strikeout.

In the top of the ninth, the Cleveland Indians called on closer Brad Hand to lock it down. After a loud first out to the inning, Hand racked up a strikeout and a lazy fly ball to secure the win and his eighth save of the season.

The win puts the Cleveland Indians at 18-12 on the year while dropping the Twins to 20-11. The Indians are now just 1.5 games back of the Twins in the AL Central race.

On Deck: The Indians and Twins will conclude the series on Wednesday night with the return of Mike Clevinger to the Cleveland bump. Clevinger will enter with a 1-1 record and a 3.24 ERA. The start will mark Clevinger’s second against the Twins this year, going four innings against Minnesota on July 31 picking up a loss after allowing four runs on six hits. Jose Berrios will take the mound for the Twins in the game. Berrios faced the Indians back on July 30, also taking a loss after giving up two runs on three hits through five innings. First pitch is set for the normal 7:10 p.m. EST at Progressive Field.