CLEVELAND (AP) — Shane Bieber struck out a season-high nine over six innings, Amed Rosario had an RBI triple among his four hits, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Bieber (3-1) scattered seven hits and walked one before relievers James Karinchak, Sam Hentges, Trevor Stephan and Emmanuel Clase completed Cleveland’s third shutout of the season. Clase leads the majors with 13 saves in 16 chances.
“We couldn’t really buy a clean inning, so we had to find a way to gut it out,” Bieber said. “The defense behind me was great and we needed it tonight. Credit to the lineup we faced for making it difficult on us.”
Rosario singled in each of his three at-bats against Detroit starter Michael Lorenzen (1-2), then tripled home Will Brennan in the eighth against José Cisnero. His drive soared over the head of right fielder Matt Vierling and off the wall.
It was Rosario’s first extra-base hit in 13 games. His four-hit performance snapped a 7-for-47 slump.
“If you try to make things more complicated, it makes it difficult for you, so I kept trying not to,” said Rosario, who raised his average from .217 to .242. “If you try to do the same thing each time, the results will come.”
José Ramírez had a sacrifice fly in the first inning that scored Steven Kwan, who had doubled for his AL-leading 14th leadoff hit.
Spencer Torkelson and Akil Baddoo each had three hits for Detroit, which went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position — striking out 10 times — and was shut out for the first time since opening day.
“We had traffic on the bases every inning, but our pitch selection was probably not our best when we needed it,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Bieber continued to spin us over and over again.”
Detroit fell to 6-2 in May and dropped behind second-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Right-hander Lorenzen pitched seven innings and allowed one run for the second straight start, striking out three without a walk. It was his fourth career outing of at least seven innings and one or fewer runs.
“I have always thought Lorenzen has really good stuff, really good,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “He is an exceptional athlete.”
Former AL Cy Young Award winner Bieber lowered his ERA to 2.61 through eight starts, working his way out of two early jams. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the second and had Javier Báez thrown out at the plate by right fielder Brennan in the third.
Center fielder Myles Straw later preserved the shutout in the eighth by robbing Jonathan Schoop with a leaping grab on a dead sprint. Had the ball dropped, Torkelson would have scored from second and tied the game.
“Myles is great, man, and his defense is superb,” Bieber said. “He sets a standard for us and he holds guys to it.”
The Guardians are 7-10 at Progressive Field and have won only one of their first five home series. They split the first two games against Detroit.
The defending division champion Guardians started the season 16-19 for the second year in a row. Unlike in 2022, Cleveland is showing no signs of a turnaround, ranking last in the majors in homers, total bases, slugging percentage and pitching strikeouts.
“I don’t really care about yesterday, let alone last year,” Francona said.
Tigers: OF Kerry Carpenter (right shoulder sprain), who was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 29, experienced discomfort while hitting off a tee over the weekend. “He was sore, so we’ll slow his progression down a little bit,” Hinch said.
Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (right upper back strain) is scheduled to throw a live bullpen session Thursday in Goodyear, Arizona. McKenzie has not appeared in a major league game since Oct. 15, 2022 in the AL Division Series against the Yankees.
Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-2, 1.81 ERA) faces Guardians RHP Peyton Battenfield (0-3, 4.07 ERA) in the series finale. Rookie Battenfield has limited hitters to a .207 average over his first five appearances.
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