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Guardians’ Shane Bieber aims to baffle White Sox again

Sportsnaut
Jun 25, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber will look to continue his dominance of the White Sox on Sunday when the American League Central rivals conclude their four-game series in Chicago.

Bieber (4-5, 3.24 ERA) is 7-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 14 career starts against the White Sox. Ten of the 14 outings have been quality starts for Bieber, who has flustered Chicago in both encounters this season.

Bieber, 27, allowed one run on four hits in six innings in an 11-1 romp on April 20 before throwing his first complete game of the season in his most recent outing against Chicago. The 2020 AL Cy Young recipient permitted one run on three hits and struck out seven in a 4-1 victory on July 12.

“Yeah, I enjoyed that,” Bieber said following that contest. “I was able to go out there and be efficient and get through nine (innings). I feel really good right now, so I’ve just got to keep rolling and keep building off the last one.”

Bieber would be wise to tread carefully around Jose Abreu, who has reached base in 26 consecutive games. Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, is 10-for-36 with three homers and four RBIs in his career vs. Bieber.

The White Sox lost 7-4 in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader before snapping the Guardians’ season high-tying, five-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory in the nightcap.

While appreciative of his team’s comeback win, Lance Lynn said that momentum only lasts so long.

“Yeah, it makes you feel good until tomorrow morning, and then you’ve got another one,” said Lynn, who started Game 2 for the White Sox. “That’s the beauty and the curse of this game. You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low, because there’s always another one.”

Chicago is 9-9 heading into the finale of 19 consecutive games against AL Central opponents.

The White Sox will turn to right-hander Dylan Cease (9-4, 2.15) in the series finale on Sunday.

Cease, 26, has authored back-to-back scoreless outings to improve to 5-1 with a 0.65 ERA in his last seven starts. He allowed just one hit and struck out eight in seven innings to propel Chicago to an 11-0 romp over the Minnesota Twins last Sunday.

Cease has split a pair of decisions against the Guardians this season and is 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA in seven career encounters.

Cleveland’s Steven Kwan has hit safely in 12 of his past 14 games, batting .361 (22-for-61) with six doubles, six RBIs and 12 runs.

“A lot of the time when I’m leading off, I try to see some pitches, but when runners are in scoring position, that’s when pitchers want to make their pitches and want to dominate at-bats,” Kwan said, per Cleveland.com. “I just try to get ahead early, trust my bat, trust my eye, put it in play, and good things will happen.”

Chicago’s AJ Pollock was in a 1-for-25 rut before collecting two hits in the nightcap, including the go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning.

–Field Level Media