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Bieber, Indians hold off Yankees

JOE NOGA • Jul 13, 2018 at 10:32 PM

CLEVELAND — Rookie right-hander Shane Bieber baffled New York's offense for the better part of seven innings Friday and the Cleveland Indians survived another bullpen scare for a 6-5 win against the visiting Yankees at Progressive Field.

The Indians won for the first time in five tries against the Yankees in 2018, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Bronx Bombers that stretched back to Game 3 of last year's American League Division Series in New York.

Bieber held the Yankees to four runs on five hits, striking out six New York batters across seven innings. He retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced and six straight before Tyler Wade's leadoff double in the eighth.

Jose Ramirez chased Yankees starter Domingo German (2-5, 5.49) from the game with an RBI triple into the right field corner in the fifth. It was Ramirez's MLB-best 56th extra-base hit of the season and his team-high 69th run driven in. He later scored on Yonder Alonso's RBI base for a 6-3 Indians lead.

New York trimmed Cleveland's lead by a run in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Brett Gardner, but after reliever Neil Ramirez hit Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge with a pitch, the Tribe escaped further damage behind a strike out-throw out double play to end the inning. Ramirez fanned Aaron Hicks and Gomes cut down Judge at second base to end the frame.

Cody Allen allowed a leadoff home run in the ninth inning to Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton that trimmed Cleveland's lead to 6-5, but after a base hit by Greg Bird, Allen got Miguel Andujar to bounce into a double play and retired pinch hitter Didi Gregorius on a pop to shortstop for his 19th save.

Bieber (5-1, 3.56) cruised through his first four innings, but looked like he was about to unravel in the fifth, serving up a leadoff double to Greg Bird and an RBI double to Neil Walker sandwiched around a walk to Miguel Andujar. He allowed a run to score on a wild pitch before Gardner's RBI sacrifice fly trimmed the Indians' lead to 4-3.

But the precocious rookie settled down and retired Judge on a fly ball to left center to end the inning, and worked a 1-2-3 sixth by setting down the heart of New York's order on a strikeout and two grounders.

Francisco Lindor walked and scored on a Ramirez RBI groundout in the bottom of the first to put the Tribe in front 1-0. It was the Indians 72nd first-inning run of the year, trailing Colorado (80) for the big-league lead.

Lindor finished with a pair of walks and two runs scored. He leads baseball with 85 runs, its the fourth-most in franchise history through 93 games, trailing Kenny Lofton (90 in 1994), Ray Chapman (88 in 1920) and Tris Speaker (86 in 1920). He added a double in the eighth inning, giving him 55 extra-base hits.

Yan Gomes and Michael Brantley delivered RBI doubles in the second inning as the Indians scored three times to push their advantage to 4-0.

What it means

The Indians have won 17 of their last 24 home games, dating back to May 26. Cleveland is outscoring opponents 105-55 across their last 15home games with an 10-5 record in those contests.

The pitches

German threw 91 pitches, 52 (57 percent) for strikes. Bieber threw 99 pitches, 64 (65 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Yankees and Indians drew a sellout crowd of 35,078 fans to Progressive Field on Friday night. It represented the highest attendance of the season at the park. First pitch was at 7:10 with a temperature of 81 degrees.

Up next

Mike Clevinger (7-4, 3.34) will face C.C. Sabathia (6-4, 3.34) at 7:15 p.m. tonight. The game will be televised on Fox as part of its Baseball Night in America package. WLKR/FM 95.3 will also carry the game.

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