The Indians spent Friday and Saturday looking completely lost, losing two straight games in stunning fashion 13-0 to the worst team record-wise in baseball in the Baltimore Orioles.
Sunday the team finally scored a couple runs, two to be exact, and it was enough as Shane Bieber was dominant, going eight shutout innings in a Tribe 2-0 win.
The team got a couple big two out hits, and the 9th inning got tense as Brad Hand found himself with the bases loaded with two outs before getting a strikeout to end the game and get the save.
The win puts the team to seven games over .500 at 45-38 with five games left before the All-Star break which stars a week from today.
Here’s a couple takeaways from the Tribe series ending win.
1. A Much Needed Outing from Bieber
Shane Bieber has made it his mission to beat up the O’s as for the second straight outing against them he didn’t allow a run in getting a win.
Back on May 19th he went the distance, allowing five hits and striking out 15. Sunday in Camden Yards he went eight innings, striking out 11 and allowing three hits with again not allowing a run.
The win puts him at 7-3 on the season with a 3.54 ERA. Just like the rest of the staff he’s had a few clunkers, but he’s been the most consistent Indians starter since day one of the season.
Bieber will get a shot for his 8th win Sunday in Cincinnati.
2. Just a Few Hits Needed
Oscar Mercado doubled with two outs in the 3rd inning to set the table, and Carlos Santana came through with a single to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.
With the game still very much in doubt, it was again Mercado coming through with another two-out double in the seventh, and again it was Santana with a single to make it a 2-0 affair.
The Indians rookie went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, and is hitting .314 on the season. He should be up for Rookie of the Year consideration, and Sunday his huge two out hits set the table for the Indians two runs.
Credit Santana as well with a pair of RBI singles that gives him now 50 runs batted in this season.
3. Hand it To Him
Brad Hand was on the hill for the first time in five days (since the stunning grand slam in the loss to the Royals), and was able to get out of a serious jam to earn his 23rd save.
He threw what looked to be five strikes to Anthony Santander with two outs with the bases loaded, but Joe West squeezed a pair of what were borderline pitches which should have strikes.
He got Santander swinging with the count 2-2 to end the game, but it was nail biting time before that as it felt like getting out with a 2-0 win was slipping away.
Instead, Hand hung in, got the K and the save, and helped the team salvage the finale to save what could have been a really bad three days (instead of two) in Baltimore.