Bieber excels, Indians outlast Giolito, White Sox 2-0 in 10

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CHICAGO – Shane Bieber wasn’t sure where this ranked among his best performances. The AL Cy Young Award winner knew it was high on the list.

Bieber pitched three-hit ball over nine innings for Cleveland while Lucas Giolito nearly matched him before the Indians broke through in the 10th to beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Tuesday night.

The matchup between All-Star aces sure lived up to its billing.

“I guess it was a big one,” Bieber said. “It’s special to me. It was great to know that tonight’s matchup was kind of as advertised and we were able to come out on top.”

Bieber (1-1) struck out 11 and has fanned 35 in his first three starts of the season for the second straight year. Nolan Ryan set the record with 37 in 1973 and Gerrit Cole had 36 in 2018.

“I thought he was tremendous,” manager Terry Francona said. “You pick the adjective and you can put my name to it. I thought that was one of the best-pitched games on both sides that I’ve seen in a long time. Those are two of the best. Biebs did a heck of a job.”

Giolito wasn’t bad, either.

“These types of games are the ones I remember, the ones that I really enjoy,” he said.

Giolito also allowed only three hits and fanned eight. He was pulled after issuing his second walk to begin the eighth inning. Bieber walked one.

“The way Bieber was pitching tonight, I didn’t have to wait in the dugout very long to get back out there,” Giolito said. “So it was like full go. Every inning, we were both putting up zeros. It was just a battle, and it’s pretty exciting, pretty fun. Just had to stay within myself.”

Garrett Crochet (0-2) came on in the 10th for Chicago and catcher Yasmani Grandal interfered with Josh Naylor leading off, putting runners on the corners.

After pinch-hitter Yu Chang flied out, Roberto Perez drove in a run with an RBI single. Pinch-hitter Amed Rosario added an RBI double.

Bieber struck out at least eight in his 15th straight game, breaking Corey Kluber‘s club record in 2017. He fanned five in a row at one point, and 85 of his 113 pitches were strikes.

“I think early in the game it was pretty clear and obvious that they weren’t trying to get deep into counts and they were trying to be aggressive, and fortunately, I was able to kind of find my stuff from the get and force contact,” Bieber said. “And we got an incredible defense.”

James Karinchak worked the 10th for his first save, retiring Jake Lamb on a game-ending fly to the right-field warning track.

Eddie Rosario had two of Cleveland’s three hits against Giolito – a double in the second and an infield single in the fourth.

RACIST TWEETS

Chang shared some anti-Asian tweets he received after making a throwing error in the ninth inning that allowed the winning run to score in the Indians’ loss Monday night.

Chang, who is Taiwanese, posted some of the tweets on his account while asking for tolerance. Soon after, he received an outpouring of support from Indians fans and others.

QUOTABLE

“Both of them were making high quality pitches the whole night. There are good hitters in both lineups. We expected it, that’s what we got. We wanted to win the game. That’s disappointing. It’s not difficult to admire quality like that when it’s on either side.”- White Sox manager Tony La Russa.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Perez apparently got crossed up by Karinchak and got hit in his right ring finger by a pitch. Perez rose as if he was expecting a high pitch.

UP NEXT

The four-game series continues with LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitching for Chicago after being scratched from Monday’s start because of an upset stomach and RHP Zach Plesac (1-1, 1.38) getting the ball for Cleveland. With Rodon ill, Dallas Keuchel pitched into the sixth inning Monday after having his turn moved up two days.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.