TORONTO — 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.
Phillies 4, Tigers 0
DETROIT — Vince Velasquez pitched impressively into the sixth inning and Philadelphia beat Detroit to finish a quick two-game sweep.
J.T. Realmuto and Nick Williams homered for Philadelphia, which has won five of six.
Bryce Harper had the day off for the Phillies, but they didn’t need much offense. Velasquez (3-5) allowed four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine.
Zimmermann (0-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Detroit is 8-35 since the start of June.
Mossi dies at 90
Don Mossi, a left-handed pitcher who won 101 games in over a decade as a major leaguer and was an All-Star for the Cleveland Indians in 1957, has died. He was 90.
The Cremation Society of Idaho says Mossi died Friday in Nampa, Idaho.
Mossi made his big league debut in 1954 for the Cleveland team that won the American League pennant with 111 victories. Pitching mostly in relief, he went 6-1 with a 1.94 ERA that year and made three appearances in the World Series against the New York Giants.
He remained a reliever for most of his five seasons with Cleveland, but in 1957 he made 22 starts and earned All-Star honors. That was a sign of things to come, because the Detroit Tigers used Mossi primarily as a starter when he was with them from 1959-63. He went 17-9 with a 3.36 ERA in 1959, throwing 15 complete games.
After five seasons with Detroit, Mossi pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 1964 and the Kansas City Athletics in 1965.
Bauer trade talk
Trevor Bauer might have his name thrown around in trade rumors this month more than any other player in baseball, though a number of complicating factors could make the right deal difficult to find for the Indians.
One team at least exploring a deal for the Indians’ starting pitcher is the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been viewed as an obvious potential trade partner for a few weeks. Jon Morosi of MLB Network then reported on Wednesday the two teams have talked recently.
The Phillies make sense as a contender short on starting pitching. It would also be ideal from the Indians’ perspective to send Bauer to the National League rather than an American League contender, where the odds of having to face Bauer in a postseason series in 2019 and 2020 are increased. The Houston Astros and New York Yankees in the AL and the San Diego Padres in the NL have also been thought of as fits for Bauer.
Bauer has had an up-down-2019 but carries extra value for the high number of innings he can throw — not to mention additional value in October for his ability to throw on three days’ rest. Bauer leads the league with 152 1/3 innings pitched. He’s also posted a 3.49 ERA, a 4.19 FIP and 179 strikeouts. He also mentioned a few weeks ago that he was dealing with some “physical limitations” for much of the early part of the season.
Bauer is under club control only through next season, making him the biggest trade asset on the roster that isn’t at least under control through 2021. He’s eligible for his final year of arbitration this winter, when he’ll likely demand a hefty price tag. Though if he follows through with his plan of signing repetitive one-year deals in free agency, it lessens his value should he be offered a qualifying offer.