CLEVELAND, Ohio (WCMH) — Shane Bieber made Indians history and nearly made MLB history Friday by striking out 14 batters on Opening Day to propel Cleveland to a 2-0 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.
Bieber was one strikeout short of tying a Major League Baseball record for most strikeouts on Opening Day. The record for most strikeouts is held by Camilo Pascual who struck out 15 batters for the Washington Senators in 1960.
Bieber is the first pitcher to record 14 strikeouts on Opening Day since Randy Johnson did so in 1996, and the Indians’ ace is just the third player to ever throw 14 strikeouts in the first game with the other player being Don Drysdale. Randy Johnson accomplished the feat twice with the first time coming in 1993.
Three other Indians pitchers came into the game and recorded three innings without giving up a hit.
With runners on first and third, Oscar Mercado hit a chopper up the middle to score the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth inning while Cesar Hernandez smashed an RBI double in that same inning to put the Tribe up 2-0.