Shane Bieber picked up his 11th win of the season and Amed Rosario went 4-for-5 with two RBIs as the host Cleveland Guardians beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Jose Ramirez homered and Owen Miller added a two-run single for Cleveland (78-66) which won its seventh consecutive game over the Twins.
Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Andres Gimenez each had two hits and Myles Straw singled, walked twice and scored two runs for the Guardians, who increased their American League Central Division lead to 4 1/2 games over the Chicago White Sox.
It was the 10th straight quality start for Bieber (11-8) and his 22nd of the season, moving him into a tie for second place in the AL in that category. He allowed one run on four hits over eight innings, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Matt Wallner became the 12th player in team history to homer in his first major league game for Minnesota (72-72), spoiling Bieber’s shutout bid in the eighth inning.
Louie Varland (0-1), making his second big league start, took the loss allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Ramirez, celebrating his 30th birthday, gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the first inning when he drilled a 3-0 pitch 421 feet into the bleachers in right for his 28th home run of the season.
The Guardians extended their lead to 2-0 in the third when Straw led off with a walk and advanced to third on Nick Gordon’s throwing error on a Kwan grounder. Rosario then drove in Straw with a single to left.
Cleveland made it 4-0 in the fourth. Gonzalez led off with a single and advanced to third on a double off the left field wall by Gimenez. Miller followed with a two-run single to center.
The Guardians increased the lead to 5-0 in the sixth with three straight singles off reliever Aaron Sanchez, the final one by Rosario driving in Straw.
Wallner, who had 27 home runs between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul, then made it 5-1 in the eighth with his first major league homer in his third at-bat, a 414-foot drive to right-center.
–Field Level Media