MLB: Tigers visit Guardians, face nemesis Shane Bieber
Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber will look to continue to have his way against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday in Cleveland.
Bieber (1-2, 3.72 ERA) has mowed down American League Central opponents in his career, starting with the Tigers. Against them, he’s 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA in eight starts, striking out 76 in 55 1/3 innings.
Against the AL Central overall, the former Cy Young Award winner is a dominating 21-5.
Rookie right-hander Alex Faedo (0-1, 2.87) will conclude the series for the Tigers on Sunday. The Guardians won the first game 6-1 on Friday. Their game Saturday was rained out and will be made up July 14.
Both managers are expected back in the dugout for Sunday’s game. Detroit’s A.J. Hinch missed Friday’s game with an illness. He has taken numerous COVID-19 tests, but his results continue to come back negative. He said he spent Thursday’s off-day in bed, and bench coach George Lombard stepped in for him on Friday.
“I gave him my thoughts on specific things,” Hinch said, adding: “I’ve never spent a game where I’ve been the manager in a hotel room.”
Tigers right-handed reliever Will Vest tested positive for COVID-19 before Friday’s game and went on the injured list.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona missed Friday’s game when he announced he was having a minor surgical procedure.
“He was back at the ballpark today and ready to manage (Saturday),” Guardians president Chris Antonetti said.
DeMarlo Hale stepped in for Francona, who missed four games last week when he tested positive for COVID-19.
Antonetti said he’s encouraged by the progress of this young Cleveland team this season. He said when he looked recently, the average age of the Guardians was lower than that of all the Triple-A teams combined.
“We want to see this team develop and grow,” he said. “We think our best baseball is ahead of us. I’m so excited about our future.”
Antonetti said if the pitching staff continues to improve, the Guardians could have a fun second half of the season. Especially with the way the offense has ben producing.
Cleveland shortstop Amed Rosario has hit safely in nine of his 13 games in May, batting .288 (15 for 52), for the month with four RBIs.
Jose Ramirez, who hit a three-run homer and a triple on Friday, recorded his 20th game of the season with multiple extra-base hits this season. He enters play Sunday leading the majors with 37 RBIs, one more than the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso.
Ramirez also leads the AL with three triples.
Owen Miller has eight RBIs in his past six home games, when he’s batted .286 (6-for-21), with two doubles and two homers.
Tigers rookie first baseman Spencer Torkelson had his first career sacrifice fly and drove in the Tigers’ only run Friday. He’s had doubles in back-to-back games. During his current three-game hitting streak, he’s gone 4-for-8 with a home run and two RBIs.
He still is batting only .179 for the season.
Javier Baez is batting .306 (15-for-49), with six extra-base hits in 12 career games vs. Cleveland. He’s in a season-long slump, however, hitting just .205 — well off his career .262 mark.
–Field Level Media