TORONTO (AP) – Shane Bieber pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a double by Eric Sogard in the seventh inning, and the Cleveland Indians kept up their surge by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Wednesday night.
The Indians topped prime trade target Marcus Stroman and improved to 14-4 in July. They are 30-12 since June 4, the best record in the majors over that span.
Bieber (10-3) struck out 10 and walked one in his second career complete game. The MVP of the All-Star Game blanked Baltimore on May 19 when he fanned 15.
Sogard spoiled Bieber’s bid when he opened the seventh when a drive that bounced over the right field wall. One out later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was hit by a pitch, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. flied out and Justin Smoak struck out to end the inning.
Bieber pitched a rain-shortened, seven-inning no-hitter at Triple-A in May 2018, less than a week before making his big league debut. He became the youngest Indians pitcher to throw a shutout while giving up no more than one hit and striking out at least 10 since a 22-year-old Dennis Eckersley no-hit the Angels in 1977, MLB.com said.
Greg Allen had three hits and an RBI and José Ramírez had two hits and scored a run.
Cleveland broke through in the in the fifth when Allen hit a two-out single and scored on Kevin Plawecki’s double, sliding home just ahead of the tag. Toronto challenged the call, but home plate umpire Fieldin Culbrehth’s call stood.
Stroman (6-11) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, further burnishing his credentials ahead of next week’s trade deadline. Stroman pitched seven shutout innings to beat Detroit last Friday.
The loss was Stroman’s first since June 20 at Texas, ending a streak of five unbeaten starts.
Cleveland doubled its lead against Daniel Hudson in the eighth. Francisco Lindor hit a one-out double, stole third and scored on Oscar Mercado’s sacrifice fly.
The Indians tacked on two more against right-hander Wilmer Font in the ninth. Jonathan Luplow hit an RBI grounder and a second run scored on Allen’s single.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber threw a 35-pitch bullpen session before the game. Kluber has been sidelined since May 1, when he was hit by a line drive from Miami’s Brian Anderson and broke a bone in his forearm. Kluber will throw another bullpen Saturday. … OF Tyler Naquin (right hamstring) was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight day, but did run on the field before the game.
Blue Jays: RHP Justin Shafer was available out of the bullpen. Shafer left Monday’s game because of a sore elbow.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (3-2, 4.81) starts Thursday as the Indians begin a four-game series in Kansas City. LHP Mike Montgomery (1-3, 6.83) starts for the Royals. Plutko is 0-2 in four career games against Kansas City.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off Thursday. RHP Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.68) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. The Rays have not named a starter.
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