Shane Bieber tossed 7 2/3 strong innings to win his fourth straight start and fuel the streaking Cleveland Guardians to a 4-2 victory over the host Chicago White Sox on Thursday to complete a three-game series sweep.
First-place Cleveland (83-67) now leads second-place Chicago (76-74) by seven games in the American League Central with 12 games to play.
Bieber (12-8) allowed two runs on seven hits to improve to 8-2 in his past 11 outings. He struck out five without issuing a walk.
Jose Ramirez drove in two runs and rookie Steven Kwan had an RBI triple for the Guardians, who have won 13 of their past 15 games.
Gavin Sheets homered to lead off the eighth inning and Eloy Jimenez had an RBI single for the White Sox.
The teams each scored a run in the first inning before Cleveland seized the lead for good in the third.
Amed Rosario opened the third with an infield single and advanced to third base on a failed pickoff attempt by Johnny Cueto (7-9). Rosario came home on a Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to right field.
The Guardians added to their advantage in the fifth inning.
Myles Straw led off the with a single and scored on Kwan’s triple to right-center field. Kwan didn’t stay on third base for long, as he scored on Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to left field to give Cleveland a 4-1 lead.
Cueto fell to 5-1 in his career vs. Cleveland after permitting four runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings. He fanned three and walked one.
Sheets deposited a 1-1 cutter from Bieber over the wall in right field to trim the Guardians’ lead to 4-2 in the eighth inning. The homer was Sheets’ 14th of the season and second this month.
After Chicago’s Yoan Moncada doubled with two outs in the eighth, Trevor Stephan replaced Bieber and struck out Jose Abreu to end the inning. Emmanuel Clase retired the side in order in the ninth to secure his 37th save of the season.
Cleveland opened the scoring in the top of the first on three consecutive two-out singles. Gimenez’s bunt rolled just out of Cueto’s reach, allowing Ramirez to cross the plate.
Chicago answered in the bottom of the frame after Abreu ripped a two-out double before coming home on Jimenez’s single to left field.
–Field Level Media