Bieber wins 4th straight, Guardians beat Blue Jays 7-2
TORONTO (AP) — Shane Bieber pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight start, matching the longest winning streak of his career, Amed Rosario homered and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Sunday.
“That was a lot of fun today,” Bieber said. “I thought we brought the right energy from the start.”
Rosario went 3 for 4 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored. Owen Miller had two doubles and Austin Hedges drove in a pair as the AL Central leaders won for the seventh time in eight games. Cleveland’s season-high, six-game winning streak was snapped in Saturday’s 2-1 loss.
Bieber (8-6) allowed two runs and eight hits, equaling a four-game winning streak from June 17 to July 3, 2018. He walked none and struck out six.
“I thought that was his best fastball of the year,” manager Terry Francona said.
Bieber turned in a better performance against Toronto than a home start against the Blue Jays in May when he allowed seven runs, matching a career-worst.
“They say you try to have a short-term memory but it’s not really realistic,” Bieber said. “I was thinking about that and I was looking forward to today’s outing because of it. I was happy to take the win today.”
Trevor Stephan struck out two in the eighth and Emmanuel Clase finished.
Toronto lost two of three to Cleveland and scored just four runs in the series. The Blue Jays had three hits in the first inning but scored one run, stranding runners at second and third. They’ve lost six of eight overall.
Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman, chosen AL player of the week last week after pitching 14 scoreless innings in starts at Tampa Bay and Minnesota, couldn’t keep his streak going at home. Rosario connected on a one-out drive in the first for his eighth homer.
Gausman (8-9) allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
“They did a good job running up my pitch count,” Gausman said.
A wild pitch cost Gausman in the fifth, allowing Rosario to advance to scoring position and come home on Josh Naylor’s single. The Blue Jays also made an errant throw on Tyler Freeman’s stolen base attempt in the fourth and, on the next play, right fielder Cavan Biggio couldn’t get to Hedges’ fly ball down the line. The ball dropped for an RBI double.
Teoscar Hernández tied it in the bottom half with an RBI double, but Hedges made it 2-1 with an RBI single in the second, then doubled home a run in the fourth.
Naylor hit an RBI single in the fifth before Miller chased Gausman with a two-out RBI double.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cut it to 5-2 with an RBI grounder in the fifth. Guerrero finished 0 for 4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 22. He grounded out to third to end the seventh, stranding runners at first and second.
“It’s kind of the situation that you play for, you pitch for,” Bieber said of his matchup with Guerrero.
Francona said he got anxious when Guerrero batted in the seventh.
“My heart was in my throat,” Francona said. “Out of respect for what Vladdy can do, I was nervous. Biebs did a terrific job.”
Rosario and José Ramirez hit RBI singles off Trent Thornton in the ninth.
Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette (rest) was held out of the starting lineup. Bichette has played in 111 of Toronto’s 113 games. … RHP Ross Stripling (right hip) is expected to come off the injured list to start against Baltimore on Wednesday, giving RHP José Berríos extra rest.
Cleveland has won nine of Bieber’s past 11 road starts.
Rosario has 14 three-hit games this season, matching Minnesota’s Luis Arráez for the AL lead.
Guardians: RHP Aaron Civale starts Game 1 of Monday’s home doubleheader against Detroit. His opponent will be RHP Drew Hutchison (1-6, 4.45). Cleveland will promote RHP Xzavion Curry from Triple-A Columbus to start Game 2, with RHP Bryan Garcia (0-0, 2.35) going for the Tigers.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (4-6, 5.13) starts Monday against Baltimore RHP Kyle Bradish (1-4, 6.42). Kikuchi is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against the Orioles this season.
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