Cleveland starting pitcher Shane Bieber pitched came up an inning short of a complete game Tuesday night, with a Salvador Perez solo home run representing the lone blemish over his eight innings of work as the Guardians bested the Kansas City Royals, 4-1, for their second straight win.
It was a bit of an uncharacteristic outing for Bieber, as he de-emphasized his slider and knuckle curve in favor of his cutter and four-seam fastball. The former accounted for 41 percent of his pitches Tuesday night, earning nine swings and misses. Bieber allowed four hits and one walk over eight innings, surrendering the aforementioned solo shot to Perez in the fourth inning. He finished the game with seven strikeouts and retired the final eight batters he faced.
With a left-hander on the mound in the form of Kris Bubic and his 5.47 ERA, it was an open question whether the Guardians’ anemic offense would be able to do much damage. But they managed to break through in the third inning thanks in part to the bottom of the order, as Austin Hedges drew a one-out walk and Myles Straw followed with a single. With two outs, Amed Rosario hit a sharp single to right field, loading the base for Jose Ramirez. Ramirez singled through the left side of the infield to plate a pair of runs and give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
The offense went quiet again until the seventh inning, when Straw knocked in Tyler Freeman from third base with an RBI single. Yes, that means Straw reached base twice in the game. The last insurance run came courtesy of Bobby Witt Jr. in the eighth inning. With two outs and Oscar Gonzalez on third, Owen Miller hit a slow roller to Witt at shortstop and he proceeded to air-mail the throw to first base, allowing Miller to reach and the run to score.
James Karinchak pitched a scoreless ninth to close out it out for the Guardians.