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Shane Bieber bounces back to lead Guardians past Rays

Jul 29, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Cleveland Guardians pitcher Shane Bieber (57) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Kwan ran his hitting streak to 12 games and Jose Ramirez hit a two-run home run to lead the Cleveland Guardians to a 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kwan, who has had at least one hit in every game since the All-Star break, had an infield single in the first inning. But it was Kwan’s second and third singles, which came in the fifth and seventh innings, that were more consequential.

Kwan stole second and then scored when Ramirez hit his 21st home run of the season to give the Guardians a 3-1 lead. Cleveland extended the lead to 4-1 when Kwan scored when Ramirez singled. Ramirez now has 83 RBI on the year. He also has 15 games with three or more RBI this season.

In the first meeting of the Guardians and Rays this season, Cleveland might have received its best outing of the season from right-hander Shane Bieber.

The 2020 Cy Young Award winner has had a rough time this year as he came into the game with a 4-6 record and a 3.55 ERA. The 27-year-old also struggled in a 2021 season that was marred by illness and injury.

Bieber got into a groove after Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi singled home Yandy Diaz in the first inning. The Rays are 2-6 since the All-Star break and have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games.

Bieber pitched seven innings and gave up one earned run as he got the win. Bieber allowed five hits and struck out eight on 97 pitches. Trevor Stephan, who took over for Bieber in the eighth inning, retired the Rays in order and Emanuel Clase came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.

Bieber may have been helped by the fact that Tampa Bay had 17 players on the injured list, including offensive threats Wander Franco, Mike Zunino, Harold Ramirez and Manuel Margot.

Tampa Bay starter Jeffrey Springs (3-3) went five innings and allowed three earned runs as he took the loss. Springs allowed six hits and struck out five.

The Guardians scored their first run in the fourth inning as Andres Giminez doubled home Owen Miller, who also doubled.

–Field Level Media