Indians’ Shane Bieber twirls one-hit shutout

Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber wrapped up a shaky pregame bullpen session and shared a worried look with catcher Kevin Plawecki.

“I was like ‘Let’s just find a way to get it done,’ ” Bieber told his battery mate. “Fortunately, I was able to do that.”

He sure was. Bieber pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a double by Eric Sogard in the seventh inning, and the Indians kept up their surge by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Wednesday.

The Indians topped prime trade target Marcus Stroman and improved to 14-4 in July. They are 30-12 since June 4, the best record in the majors over that span.

The shutout was Cleveland’s AL-leading 11th. The Blue Jays were blanked for the eighth time.

Bieber (10-3) struck out 10 and walked one in his second career complete game. The MVP of the All-Star Game blanked Baltimore on May 19 when he fanned 15.

“He just pitched like a veteran,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s maturing so fast. He’s barely got a year under his belt. It just looks like he’s going to get better and better. It’s fun to watch.”

Sogard spoiled Bieber’s no-hit bid when he opened the seventh with a drive that bounced over the right field wall.

“It was a curveball down and in,” Bieber said. “He kind of dropped his hands, he’s a good hitter. I would have liked that a little bit more away. I thought it was a decently executed pitch. He’s a good hitter and he took advantage of it.”

One out later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was hit by a pitch, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. flied out and Justin Smoak struck out to end the inning.

Bieber pitched a rain-shortened, seven-inning no-hitter at Triple-A in May 2018.

Cleveland broke through in the fifth when Greg Allen hit a two-out single and scored on Kevin Plawecki’s double, sliding home just ahead of the tag. Toronto challenged the call, but home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth’s ruling stood.

Stroman (6-11) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, further burnishing his credentials ahead of next week’s trade deadline. The righty pitched seven shutout innings to beat Detroit last Friday.

Cubs 4, Giants 1

In San Francisco, Javier Baez homered in the first inning, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. also went deep, and Chicago beat the Giants after starter Jon Lester was scratched with an illness.

Baez hit his 25th homer and Bryant his 21st to help the Cubs avoid a three-game sweep. Chicago bounced back from a 5-4, 13-inning loss Tuesday night to give manager Joe Maddon his 442nd win with the Cubs, tying Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy for fifth in franchise history.

Nationals 3, Rockies 2 (1st)

Nationals 2, Rockies 0 (2nd)

In Washington, Patrick Corbin pitched six shutout innings for his first victory in nearly a month, and the Nationals completed a day-night doubleheader sweep of Colorado.

Washington won for the 23rd time in its last 32 home games and improved to 36-15 overall since May 24, the best record in the majors in that span.

In the first game, Anthony Rendon homered on the first pitch of the seventh inning to lift the hosts.

Angels 3, Dodgers 2

In Los Angeles, Kole Calhoun had a homer and two doubles while driving in two runs in his second straight big game at Dodger Stadium, and the Angels swept the Freeway Series for the first time in franchise history by beating the Dodgers.

Mike Trout drove in a run and scored another in the fourth straight victory overall for the Angels, who took two from Dodgers in Anaheim last month and two more in Chavez Ravine to earn their first sweep of this local rivalry series since interleague play began in 1997.

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walked in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth.

Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka threw out the ceremonial first pitch, tossing it to Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda, who barely had to move as he caught it easily on the fly.

“This is my second time watching live baseball and I’m really honored to have the chance to do this,” Osaka told reporters.

Phillies 4, Tigers 0

In Detroit, Vince Velasquez pitched impressively into the sixth inning and Philadelphia blanked the Tigers to finish a quick two-game sweep.

J.T. Realmuto and Nick Williams homered for the Phillies, who have won five of six.

Jordan Zimmermann (0-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4⅓ innings.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 2

In Phoenix, Carson Kelly hit a three-run homer, Taylor Clarke pitched six effective innings and the hosts beat Baltimore.

The Diamondbacks closed out the series win with Kelly’s homer off John Means (8-6) in the fourth inning and a little late-inning drama.

Arizona’s Yoshihisa Hirano pitched one scoreless inning for his 10th hold of the season. Hirano allowed two hits and a walk and fanned two batters.

In Other Games

Mariners 5, Rangers 3

Cardinals 14, Pirates 8

Royals 2, Braves 0

Marlins 2, White Sox 0

Padres 7, Mets 2

Astros 4, Athletics 2

Brewers 5, Reds 4

Rays 3, Red Sox 2

Yankees 10, Twins 7

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