CLEVELAND, Ohio (WCMH) — A 2-run home run from third basemen Jose Ramirez coupled with an excellent outing from Shane Bieber helped the Cleveland Guardians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Friday afternoon in the first game of the AL Wild Card round.
With the victory, the Guardians are one win away from advancing to the ALDS to play the New York Yankees in a best-of-five series.
The pitching duel was the battle of the Shane’s as the Rays’ Shane McClanahan and Guardians’ Bieber got the starts for the first game of the 2022 MLB postseason. Both starters were efficient in the first three innings with Bieber allowing just one walk and McClanahan giving up just two hits to start the ballgame.
Bieber kept the Rays hitless through four innings with Tampa getting in the hit column on a Harold Ramirez single in the top of the fifth. The deadlock was broken in the sixth inning as Rays centerfielder Jose Siri knocked an outside fastball off of Bieber for a home run over the center wall.
Cleveland responded quickly with an Amed Rosario single shortly followed up with a 2-run home run from Ramirez, giving the Guardians a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish. The Rays challenged the home run thinking Rosario did not touch second base, but the review confirmed he did. Both Ramirez and Rosario were the only players to get two hits in the game.
Bieber ended his masterful start after 7.2 innings allowing just three hits and striking out eight batters as Cleveland reliever Emmanuel Clase got the final four outs to close out the game.
Friday’s win is the first for the Guardians in the postseason since 2017.
Game two will start at 12:07 p.m. on Saturday from Progressive Field. Triston McKenzie will start on the mound for Guardians while Tyler Glasnow gets the start for the Rays.