Indians' Bieber hopes to rebound vs. Tigers

Field Level Media

Jake Bauers hit for the cycle on Friday, the first Cleveland Indians player to achieve the feat since 2016. He'll try to keep the good vibes going when the Indians face the Detroit Tigers once again in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday.

Bauers completed the cycle with a two-run homer off reliever Blaine Hardy in the eighth inning. Bauers said that one of his teammates, pitcher Shane Bieber, especially egged him on before the at-bat.

"I had a conversation with Biebs right before I go up there. It's like, 'Should I do this?' and he's like, 'Yeah, go for it man,'" Bauers said in a postgame TV interview. "So I went for it a little bit, and obviously it worked out. Shout-out to Biebs for talking me into it."

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The entire offense was cooking in the opener of the series, as the Indians pounded out 17 hits in the 13-4 victory. Bauers' cycle was the first by a Cleveland player since Rajai Davis did it in July 2016.

"It's just another example of how good our offense can be. When we're putting together good at-bats, we tend to have good nights, so we'll just keep that going," Bauers said.

Bieber, who had an abbreviated outing in his last appearance on Sunday, will start Saturday's game. Bieber retired the first five batters he faced against the New York Yankees but couldn't get out of the second inning. He allowed five runs on five hits and two walks before he was pulled by manager Terry Francona.

"I've never seen it go that quick with him like that before," Francona said afterward.

In his previous start, Bieber held the Minnesota Twins to two runs on five hits while lasting seven innings.

Prior to the debacle against the Yankees, Bieber (5-2, 4.07 ERA) struck out six or more batters in eight consecutive starts.

"I felt like I obviously got two quick outs in that second inning and then things just kind of started to unravel," Bieber told MLB.com. "Thought I had plenty of opportunities to get myself out of that inning, and just couldn't capitalize on them."

Bieber has been stingy in three career starts against the Tigers, posting a 2-1 record and 2.25 ERA. He delivered one of the best performances of his career at Comerica Park on Detroit on April 11, holding the Tigers scoreless on just three hits over seven innings while collecting six strikeouts.

The Tigers plan to bring up Gregory Soto from the minors to make the start on Saturday. The rookie left-hander was ineffective in four May starts, going 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA. He allowed 22 hits, including four homers, in 13 2/3 innings.

To open a roster spot, Friday's starter, Ryan Carpenter, was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. He gave up eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and four walks in three-plus innings.

"We kind of need a pitcher," manager Ron Gardenhire said after Friday's game. "We got four innings out of our starter (Thursday) and three today, so we've got to have pitching. Those (relievers) are going to die out there. We need Soto to come up here and give us a good start."

The Tigers also will place catcher Grayson Greiner on the 10-day injured list due to a back strain, and they will call up catcher Bobby Wilson.

--Field Level Media

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