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Pirates win 11th straight; rout Tribe again

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 24, 2018 at 10:16 PM

CLEVELAND — It's fortunate that the Indians and Pirates don't play each other that often. If they did, someone may mistake this for the so-called rivalry between the Browns and Steelers.

Yes, the Pirates did it to the Indians again on Tuesday night. This time, however, it didn't rain and the Indians managed to score.

Pittsburgh rocked rookie right-hander Shane Bieber for seven runs in the first 1 2/3 innings as they beat the Indians, 9-4, to run their winning streak to 11 straight game

The Pirates have outscored the Indians, 16-4, in this three-game series that ends Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. They have won six of the last seven games between the two teams dating back to June 16, 2012.

The Indians' timing couldn't be worse. They've run into the hottest team in baseball while they're still trying to re-hydrate after getting deep fried in Arlington, Texas coming out of the All-Star break.

They took two out of three games from the Rangers, but apparently are still suffering from heat stroke. They've lost three straight and have scored four runs in the last three games covering 24 innings.

Four runs in three games from MLB's highest scoring team in July is unexpected to say the least, but the always inventive Tribe has managed to do it.

The Indians recalled Bieber (5-2, 4.80) from Class AAA Columbus for Tuesday's start. No sooner did he walk on the field than he was in trouble.

Corey Dickerson opened the game with a ringing double and Sterling Marte, the second batter, hit a two-run homer to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. The Pirates, who have won 13 of their last 14 games, added five more runs in the second.

Dickerson hit a two-run triple that splattered center fielder Tyler Naquin against the outfield wall with two out in the second. The ball appeared to graze Naquin's glove. Marte followed with an RBI single and Polanco ended Bieber's night with a two-run homer.

It was the shortest start and the most runs Bieber has allowed in the first eight starts of his big-league career. He struck out two and walked one.

The Pirates made it 9-1 on a two-run homer by Josh Bell in the fifth. After Bieber's exit, the Indians used six pitches to finish the game — Dan Otero, Oliver Perez, Neil Ramirez, Brad Hand, Adam Cimber and Cody Allen.

Edwin Encarnacion and Brandon Guyer homered for two of the Tribe's four runs. It was Encarnacion's 23rd homer of the season. Jose Ramirez delivered the Tribe's first run with a ground out in the first and Erik Gonzalez accounted for the last run with a double in the ninth.

Ramirez ranks second in the AL with 73 RBI.

Joe Musgrove (4-4, 3.90) went seven stress-free innings for the win. He allowed two runs on five hits. He's 1-1 in his career against the Indians.

What it means

The Indians are 8-8 in interleague play, while the Pirates are 12-2.

The pitches

Bieber threw 54 pitches, 36 (67 percent) for strikes. Musgrove threw 88 pitches, 65 (74 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Pirates and Indians drew 26,414 fans to Progressive Field on Tuesday night. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 78 degrees.

Up next

Right-hander Trevor Bauer (8-6, 2.44) will face the Pirates and right-hander Jameson Taillon (7-7, 3.80) on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. in the final game of this three-game interleague series. SportsTime Ohio and WTAM will carry the game.

Bauer, coming off his first All-Star Game appearance, opened the second half Friday in Texas, but lasted only four innings. He struck out seven, walked five and allowed four runs in a game the Indians eventually won, 9-8, in 11 innings.

Tallenson is coming off a 12-1 win over the Reds on Friday. He is 4-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his last five starts on the road.

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