Indians’ Bieber earns first victory
Hamilton helps Reds avoid series sweep by the Pirates
Shane Bieber was relaxing in the clubhouse at Triple-A Columbus on Saturday when he received an important message.
The rookie right-hander was needed in the big leagues.
Bieber capped a whirlwind few hours by pitching one-run ball into the sixth inning for his first major league win, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Sunday.
He scattered 10 hits and struck out seven in 52/3 innings in his second career start. He was recalled earlier in the day when Carlos Carrasco went on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised right elbow.
“It was hectic,” said Bieber, who was told about his promotion Saturday evening. “They said go pack what you need and get on the road as soon as possible.”
Catcher Yan Gomes, whose three run-double in the third snapped a 1-all tie, was impressed with the composure a 23-year-old pitcher who began the season at Double-A Akron showed in unusual circumstances.
“The kid has some poise,” Gomes said. “He knows what he’s doing out there. That’s good to see from such a young guy.”
Tyler Naquin had an RBI single in the second. Cody Allen, the Indians’ third reliever, pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 opportunities.
Cleveland salvaged the finale of the three-game series and broke a five-game losing streak against Minnesota.
Reds 8, Pirates 6
Billy Hamilton is well aware of his struggles at the plate. The Cincinnati Reds centerfielder has tried to stay positive even as his average and his spot in the batting order dropped at an alarming rate, trying to focus on being a more complete player until his swing returned.
For the first time in a while — far too long for Hamilton’s liking — everything that makes him so effective was on full display as the Reds avoided a series sweep. Hamilton went 3 for 4, stole two bases, scored three times and made a pair of vital defensive plays.
Hamilton started the day with a diving grab on the warning track in right-center to rob Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli of extra bases in the first. He ended it by starting the sequence that cut down the potential game-tying run at the plate in the eighth then trotting home in the ninth after Scott Schebler’s two-run shot gave Cincinnati a little extra breathing room.
“Oh my goodness, that’s the best part [is the hitting],” Hamilton said after boosting his average .197. “I’m just worried about what I did at the plate.”
Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) surrendered solo home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco but otherwise kept the Pirates in check to pick up his second victory since his return after missing the entire 2017 season with right elbow issues.
DeSclafani struck out four against three hits and a strikeout.