CLEVELAND, Ohio – It’s a rally and Shane Bieber deserved it.
The Indians, watching their fifth straight loss Tuesday night, won a two-point explosion befitting a team that started the game hitting .190. They tied the Reds, 2-2, in the seventh inning on an error, a field hit and three steps to give Franmil Reyes a chance to finally pull himself together and do what he paid for.
Reyes, lost to plate in the first 11 games of the season, hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Indians a 4-2 victory at Great American Ball Park as they returned home from a 2-4. . Reyes entered the game with a score of .171 (6 for 35) with 12 strikeouts.
The home run gave Bieber (3-0, 0.89) his third win in as many starts. He struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings to give him 35 strikeouts to open the season. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan holds the MLB record with 37 strikeouts.
“Shane was awesome,” said interim manager Sandy Alomar. “He calmed down and kept us in the game and our attack was successful.”
Here’s a look at the rally that may have revived a missing offense in action since the season opened on July 24. Reyes started seventh against Pedro Strop by reaching on an error from shortstop Freddy Galvis. Bradley Zimmer walked, but Jordan Luplow hit to go hitting free for the season.
Sandy Leon lined up on the right, but Oscar Mercado continued the round by marching to load the bases. Cesar Hernandez beat a first hit as Reyes scored to make it 2-1. Jose Ramirez convinced Lucas Sims to tie the score at 2-2. The round ended when Francisco Lindor found himself first.
The Tribu therefore tied their biggest round since Thursday on a hit, three steps and one error. Ride on Big O.
“I just wanted to (see) the fight,” Alomar said. “They were very motivated to fight and have good hitters. They did that. It wasn’t line after line, but they kept moving the line. This is important because it puts pressure on the defense and forces the pitchers to throw strikes.
Bieber wasn’t invincible on Tuesday, but he was still pretty damn good. He allowed two runs on five hits to go 2-0 for life against the Reds.
“It was fun to see Franmil get there,” Bieber said. “I know we were frustrated as a team for a lot of different reasons earlier in the game. It was nice to see everyone stay strong and pull themselves together at the end.
Bieber, after tying an MLB record with 27 strikeouts in his first two starts of the season, gave home runs to Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez, but that was it. The Indians won two games on this trip and, unsurprisingly, Bieber won them both.
“I was really happy that Sandy let me out for the eighth inning,” Bieber said. “I want to go as long as possible and give my team and myself as many opportunities to capitalize on the game as possible. I was really happy to go out for the eighth.
In fact, he opened the trip with a 2-0 victory over the Twins on Thursday. He struck out 13 and pitched eight scoreless innings in that game.
Castellanos had a home run with two strikeouts in the first. It was his sixth homerun of the season and his second in as many games against the Indians.
Bieber entered the game with 11 strikeouts to set the MLB record for strikeouts in the first three games of the season. He failed three times, but no one with the Indians complains.
Rescuers James Karinchak and Brad Hand followed Bieber to the mound. Karinchak eliminated the dangerous Castellanos to finish eighth. Hand pitched the ninth for his third save of the year.
“Karinchak’s curve ball was just on point,” Alomar said. “I guess all that rest Brad had (helped). He had a pretty good bike, throwing from 93 mph to 94 mph. We were very pleased. He went one, two, three.
Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle pitched six scoreless innings. He struck out six, walked two and came away with a 2-0 lead. In his previous two starts against the Indians, he was 0-2 with an 11.37 ERA (earned eight in 6 1/3 innings).
Mahle was a different pitcher on Tuesday. He granted a hit, the first single from Mercado in the third. He allowed two more runners to reach, both running.
Bieber struck out eight of the next 10 batters after Castellanos’ first inning homer. Suarez finished that run with a home run with one out in the fourth for a 2-0 lead. Suarez hit a fast 1-2 ball. He allowed two singles after the Suarez circuit.
New Indian masks for sale: Here’s where you can purchase Cleveland Indian-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB profits are donated to charity.
More Indian coverage
Cuyahoga County Signs $ 3.5 Million Payment to Cleveland Indians for Past Progressive Field Work
Cleveland Indians pitchers trying to stay focused as hitters wither on the vine
Where can the Cleveland Indians find help for their terrible offense? (Podcast)