All-Stars Bieber, Lindor lead Indians over Reds 7-2
CINCINNATI (AP) — In a foreboding tone, manager Terry Francona called Shane Bieber to his hotel room to deliver some important news on Cleveland’s day off. The faked sternness soon yielded to tears of joy — the second-year pitcher was going to be an All-Star.
First, he had to go pitch like one of the best.
Bieber went eight innings in 90-degree heat on Saturday, and the Indians’ All-Stars made their mark in a 7-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, their fifth in a row at Great American Ball Park.
The Indians also got a pair of homers from Francisco Lindor, part of their four-player contingent for the All-Star Game in Cleveland on Tuesday. Roberto Perez had four hits, including a tiebreaking two-run shot in the eighth inning.
It was an ideal day for Bieber (8-3), who learned from his manager a day earlier that he’d been picked to replace Texas’ Mike Minor on the AL All-Star squad.
“I was pretty shocked and just really excited,” Bieber said. “I caught myself getting too excited. … I was just trying to calm myself down.”
Couldn’t tell by the results. Bieber gave up four hits in eight innings — three of them by Yaisel Puig , who had a two-run homer.
“The easy line is he pitched like an All-Star, shoot,” Francona said.
The Indians are finally on a good run as they get ready to host the All-Star Game. They’ve won five in a row, matching their best winning streak of the season.
Before the game began, Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco said in a video that he’s being treated for leukemia but hopes to return by late July. Francona said there’s no estimate about when he might be able to pitch again.
Lindor hit his fourth leadoff homer of the season off Anthony DeSclafani, ending the Reds’ streak of 23 scoreless innings. They were coming off back-to-back shutouts of Milwaukee at Great American.
“The first one I was trying to throw a heater up and it was 5 or 6 inches above the strike zone,” DeSclafani said. “He just put his bat on it. You just tip your cap there.”
Lindor hit another solo shot in the fifth, a drive that deflected off the screen attached to the right field foul pole. His third multihomer game of the season tied it 2-2.
Perez had three singles and a two-run homer in the eighth off Michael Lorenzen (0-2) that broke the 2-2 tie. Jake Bauers singled with the bases loaded in the ninth as the Indians pulled away.
The Indians have won nine of their last 11 games in Cincinnati and lead the intrastate series 62-50. They’ve taken two of three this season, guaranteeing they will win or split the series for the fifth straight year.
The Indians are 5-5 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 6-8. They haven’t had a winning record against the AL since 2013.
The Reds wore throwback uniforms to 1939, the year they won their second NL pennant. They’re wearing throwback uniforms 15 times during the season, commemorating the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first professional team.
Joey Votto hit his 389th career double, tying Davey Concepcion for third in team history. Pete Rose hit 601 as a Red, and Barry Larkin had 441.
STREAKS STOP AND GO
Cleveland’s Carlos Santana went 0 for 4 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 10 games. However, he extended his career-best streak of reaching base safely to 28 consecutive games.
The Indians called up outfielder Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus for the series, his third stint with Cleveland this season. Right-hander Zach Plesac was optioned to the Clippers.
The Reds released left-handed reliever Zach Duke, who was signed during spring training and designated for assignment on Monday.
Indians: Plesac will make at least one start at Triple-A and could start the fifth game back after the All-Star break.
Reds: Second baseman Scooter Gennett pinch hit and struck out. He’s been out of the lineup the last two games with groin tightness. Manager David Bell said he won’t start again until after the All-Star break. Gennett missed most of the first three months of the season with a severe groin injury.
Indians: Trevor Bauer (7-6) makes his seventh career start and his second this season against the Reds. He’s 1-2 with a 3.03 ERA, including a win on June 11.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (2-8) hasn’t won since May 31, going 0-3 in his last five starts with a 4.55 ERA.
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