The three-way tussle for the American League Central pennant remains far from settled. However, the Cleveland Guardians are slowly starting to pull away with less than three weeks remaining.
The Guardians cruised to a 5-1 victory against pennant-rivals Minnesota Twins in the first game of their Saturday doubleheader.
“A beautiful afternoon for a beautiful win. #ForTheLand #GuardiWWins” – Cleveland Guardians
Guardians starter Shane Bieber (11-8) was rock solid from start to finish, keeping Minnesota off the board before allowing only one run in the eighth.
Reflecting on his performance after the game, Bieber said:
“I’ve got to commend the entire offense because when they get us an early lead, it makes it a lot easier for the pitching staff and the defense. I found myself in cruise control in the middle innings. All in all, it was a good start to the doubleheader.”
While Bieber was taking care of things on the mound, José Ramírez was doing the heavy lifting with his bat.
Celebrating his 39th birthday, Ramírez launched a first-inning solo homer to spark the Guardians offense. It was his 191st career home run, the 11th-most in Guardians history.
Amed Rosario’s RBI single doubled the advantage in the third before Owen Miller’s two-run single gave the Guardians breathing space.
Rosario added another single in the sixth to make it 5-0, but as the Yankees have shown, even a five-run cushion guarantees nothing.
However, Shane Bieber is not Frankie Montas and the Guardians, unlike the Yankees, have reliable pitching to depend on.
Shane Bieber’s splendid display helped the Cleveland Guardians cruise to victory
Shane Bieber conceded only one run – a solo homer by Matt Wallner – in the top of the eighth. It turned out to be the only run the Twins managed to register.
The 2020 AL Cy Young winner allowed only four hits in total and walked none for the ninth time in 28 outings.
Commenting on Bieber’s contributions after the game, Guardians infielder Owen Miller said:
“When Shane pitches, it’s just a different feel because the innings roll by and it’s really fun to watch. With him on the mound, he’s about as good as anyone. I’m glad we could get some runs for him.”
The Cleveland Guardians have now won 10 of their last 12 games and lead the second-placed Chicago White Sox by 4.5 games. The Twins are in third place, trailing by six games.
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