The top of Cleveland’s lineup struck early Tuesday night and built a 5-0 lead in the first three innings, paving the way for a 10-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Amed Rosario, who entered the game slashing .297/.360/.440 with 123 wRC+ over his last 25 games, continues to produce in the No. 2 spot. He drove in the first run of the game with an RBI triple to the gap in left-center, scoring Cesar Hernandez from first after he drew a leadoff walk. Rosario scored on the very next pitch thanks to an RBI groundout courtesy of José Ramírez.
Ramirez’s contributions would not be limited to an RBI groundout. In the third inning, after Hernandez and Rosario had both already reached base with back-to-back singles, Ramírez deposited a fastball into the right-field seats for a three-run homer, giving Cleveland a 5-0 lead.
The sixth run of the game crossed the plate in the sixth inning after Austin Hedges drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a sac fly by Cesar Hernandez.
It was a big night for the top of the lineup. Amed Rosario, José Ramírez, and Eddie Rosario each recorded three hits, and Cesar Hernandez had a walk and a hit. Amed accounted for three of Cleveland’s runs, and Ramírez plated four of them. The trio teamed up to tack on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning. After Amed delivered a leadoff single and Ramírez doubled to the warning track in right field, Eddie singled up the middle to bring them both home.
Feeling left out, the rest of the lineup decided to come alive in the ninth, as well. With one out, Josh Naylor crushed a double to the warning track in center field, putting runners on second and third. Both runners scored on Bradley Zimmer’s two-out RBI single.
On the mound, Shane Bieber wasn’t quite as dominant as we know he can be, but I think most starting pitchers would be more than happy with six innings, five hits, two walks, and one earned run. He only notched five strikeouts on the night, representing his lowest single-game total of the season. But credit where credit is due, the Cardinals were disciplined at the plate. They rarely chased pitches outside the strike zone, and their patience nearly paid off in the fourth inning when Bieber seemed to completely lose his feel for the strike zone.
After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Bieber allowed the next four to reach base, including an RBI single for Edmundo Sosa. Of the 18 pitches he threw over those four at-bats, 12 of them went for balls, which led to his only two free passes of the game.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bradley Zimmer’s catch to end the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt sent a 98.1 mph liner into right-center field, which almost certainly would have been an extra-base hit if not for Zimmer’s diving grab, which had a catch probability of 5% according to Statcast.