Civale’s complete-game gem lifts Indians past Pirates 6-1


By Will Graves - AP Sports Writer



Cleveland's Aaron Civale allowed five hits in his complete game victory Wednesday night against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)

Cleveland's Aaron Civale allowed five hits in his complete game victory Wednesday night against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)


PITTSBURGH — Aaron Civale struck out six and didn’t issue a walk while picking up the first complete game of his young career as the Cleveland Indians pushed their winning streak to five with a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old Civale allowed five hits and narrowly missed a shutout when Pittsburgh pushed across a run with Josh Bell’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Carlos Santana broke open a scoreless game with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, one night after slamming a towering three-run blast to lift Cleveland to a 10-inning victory. Domingo Santana added a bases-clearing double in the eighth as the Indians improved to a season-best six games over .500 (15-9).

Santana turned on a full-count cutter from reliever Dovydas Neverauskas (0-3) and sent it over the right-field seats for his third home run of the season.

Pittsburgh’s National League-worst batting average dropped to .211 when it failed to muster much of anything against Civale. The Pirates have dropped 13 of 15 and their 4-16 record is the worst in the major leagues a third of the way through the abbreviated 2020 season.

Cleveland’s offense is no better than Pittsburgh’s, but a little goes a long way for AL Central contenders. The Indians, whose .200 team batting average is dead last in the majors, are now 12-0 this season when scoring three or more runs.

Having a dominant pitching staff helps. Civale gave the bullpen a break by working Cleveland’s team ERA to 2.61, the best in the majors. The Pirates failed to put a single runner in scoring position against the efficient Civale until pinch-hitter Cole Tucker doubled leading off the ninth.

VALIANT EFFORT

Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault matched Civale out for out over five scoreless innings. Brault needed 29 pitches to get through a shaky first but quickly settled down. He didn’t allow a hit until consecutive singles by Franmil Reyes and Jordan Luplow leading off the fifth but escaped the jam by turning a double play in which he caught a line drive with a 110 mph exit velocity off the bat of Domingo Santana then threw to first to double off Luplow.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: RHP Kyle Crick (right shoulder strain) threw a live bullpen on Tuesday and is nearing closer to a return. … RHP Mitch Keller (left oblique strain) is playing catch and could begin throwing off the mound early next week. … IF Phil Evans, whose season ended following a scary collision with outfielder Gregory Polanco on Aug. 8, will have surgery to repair his fractured jaw.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (4-0, 1.30 ERA) will look to stay unbeaten in the series finale on Thursday. Bieber, who leads the American League with 54 strikeouts, is coming off seven shutout innings in a victory over Detroit last Saturday.

Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (1-3, 3.98) picked up his first win of the season last Friday against Cincinnati. Williams is 6-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 14 career interleague starts.

Cleveland's Aaron Civale allowed five hits in his complete game victory Wednesday night against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/08/web1_indiansonline-8.jpgCleveland's Aaron Civale allowed five hits in his complete game victory Wednesday night against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)

By Will Graves

AP Sports Writer

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