DETROIT (AP) — Jose Ramirez homered twice on his 28th birthday, Shane Bieber took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Cleveland Indians snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.
Bieber (8-1) didn’t allow a run until his final hitter, Willi Castro, hit a three-run homer in the eighth. That cost the Cleveland right-hander the major league ERA lead, but Bieber did become the first eight-game winner of this shortened season. He allowed four hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Bieber, a leading candidate for his first AL Cy Young Award, struck out 10 to raise his season total to 112, baseball’s top mark. He walked two.
Casey Mize (0-2) allowed three earned runs in 3 2/3 innings for Detroit. The rookie right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his previous start, but he had a tougher time against Cleveland.
Ramirez opened the scoring with a solo homer in the first and added a two-run shot in the fourth. The Indians then scored two more runs off Mize in the fourth, both of them unearned. Third baseman Isaac Paredes flubbed a two-out, bases-loaded grounder for an error. Then Mize walked in a run to make it 5-0.
Cleveland scored three in the seventh, including a two-run single by Franmil Reyes. Cesar Hernandez hit an RBI double in the eighth, and Ramirez capped his four-hit night with an RBI single later that inning.
Bieber’s outing did end on a sour note after he was left in with a 10-run lead in the eighth. He struggled in the inning and ended up with a career-high 118 pitches. Castro’s homer raised Bieber’s ERA to 1.74, just behind former teammate Trevor Bauer of Cincinnati at 1.71.
The Indians entered the day holding the final American League playoff spot, and they had a four-game cushion despite their recent skid. Bieber was the right man to halt their slide. He has at least eight strikeouts in all 11 starts this year, the second longest streak to start a season in major league history. Randy Johnson had a 15-game run in 2000.
Detroit has lost five of six.
Tigers: C Austin Romine took a foul ball off the leg in the ninth but was able to stay in the game.
Zach Plesac (3-2) takes the mound for Cleveland on Friday night against Michael Fulmer (0-2).