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Indians Avoid Sweep vs. Pirates

Cleveland Indians' Eddie Rosario scores from second on a single by Josh Naylor off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Chasen Shreve during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, June 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By WES CROSBY

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Josh Naylor foiled Pittsburgh’s strategy with an RBI single in the seventh inning, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the Pirates 2-1 Sunday.

Cleveland avoided a three-game sweep by the Pirates, who had lost 10 straight entering the series. The Indians have won seven of 10.

The lefty-swinging Naylor sent the first pitch he saw from left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve to right, driving in Eddie Rosario to break a 1-all tie. Naylor, who had an earlier hit, was batting .189 against lefties and .277 vs. righties.

Naylor thought manager Terry Francona would go with a pinch-hitter.

“I kind of peeked in the dugout and tripped over my own feet because I’m expecting to turn around,” Naylor said. “I’m pretty sure the whole stadium knew they were going to bring in the lefty. I was prepared for it. I was waiting for it. It wasn’t really shocking.”

The hit came after Pirates manager Derek Shelton pulled starter JT Brubaker (4-6) with two out in the seventh.

The right-handed Brubaker threw just 76 pitches, gave up three hits and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts.

“It was all about the matchup,” Shelton said. “JT did a heck of a job. He threw the ball extremely well, was extremely efficient. We went into that inning, if we had a guy on base and we had the left-hander there, we were going to go to Shreve.”

After forcing Harold Ramirez to ground out for the second out, Brubaker figured he might have a chance to face Naylor.

“I took a peek out in the bullpen, saw we had Shreve and (Clay) Holmes warming up,” Brubaker said. “Once I saw Shelty come out, I knew it was a situational pull. Try to get that left-on-left matchup. Shreve got that groundball, and it just had some eyes.”

James Karinchak struck out Colin Moran looking, stranding Kevin Newman at second in the ninth for his eighth save. Karinchak allowed a three-run homer by Bryan Reynolds in the seventh inning of a 6-3 loss on Saturday.

The Pirates had runners on first and third and one out in the seventh, but Trevor Stephan got Gregory Polanco to pop out and Adam Frazier to fly out.

Brubaker retired the first 13 batters until Ramirez hit a drive into the left-field bleachers to put the Indians up 1-0 with one out in the fifth. Ramirez homered twice Saturday.

“You can tell our guys love (Ramirez),” Francona said. “Brings energy and gives you an honest day’s effort. He’s really been really helpful, so important to our team. We play him everywhere in the outfield. He hits everywhere. He just seems to get his barrel to the ball.”

Jacob Stallings tied it 1-all with a two-out single off Phil Maton (2-0) in the sixth.

Maton struck out the side that inning, but allowed three hits in relief of Sam Hentges, who gave up two hits with four strikeouts in five innings.

It was Hentges’ first start since giving up four runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 30. He had made three relief appearances since.

“We kind of just found a rhythm there in the second and third,” Hentges said. “Rode that out until the end of the fifth.”

Reynolds had the only hit for either team through four innings, doubling off Hentges in the first. Reynolds sent a bloop into right field, where Cesar Hernandez dropped an over-the-shoulder attempt.

“Their starter, he has really good stuff,” Stallings said. “His stuff is really good, so he executed pitches. They threw really good bullpen arms at us. I think it might just have been one of those days.”

ROSTER MOVE

Pittsburgh recalled LHP Austin Davis from Triple-A Indianapolis. He pitched the ninth, retiring three batters after allowing a leadoff walk.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: RHP Shane Bieber will be reassessed at some point this week, pitching coach Carl Willis said. Bieber was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder muscle strain on June 14.

Pirates: LHP Sam Howard went on the 10-day IL retroactive to June 19 with right knee tendinitis.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Aaron Civale (10-2, 3.48 ERA) will take the mound against the Cubs in Chicago on Monday. Civale allowed five runs, tying his season high, in five innings Wednesday.

Pirates: LHP Tyler Anderson (3-7, 4.89) is expected to start the first of a two-game set against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. In his last start, Anderson gave up a season-high six runs in six innings Tuesday.

YANKEES 2

ATHLETICS 1

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees turned their record-tying third triple play this season to strand the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, bailing out closer Aroldis Chapman and closing down a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

BLUE JAYS 7

ORIOLES 4

BALTIMORE (AP) — Reese McGuire had three doubles during a four-hit performance.

NATIONALS 5

METS 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyle Schwarber homered three times and tied a major league record with five in a two-game span, and Washington took three of four.

CARDINALS 9 BRAVES 1

BRAVES 1

CARDINALS 0

ATLANTA (AP) — Drew Smyly (4-3) didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning, Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his 100th career homer, his 19th this season, and Atlanta earned a split of a day-night doubleheader.

Smyly held the Cardinals hitless until Paul Goldschmidt reached on an infield single with two outs in the sixth. Closer Will Smith pitched the seventh of the shortened doubleheader under pandemic rules, earning his 13th save.

Acuna, playing in his 378th game, homered in the third off Kwang Hyun Kim (1-5).

ASTROS 8

WHITE SOX 2

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Keuchel (6-2) lost in his first appearance against Houston, and Abraham Toro had a career-high four hits, improving to 7 for 11 since his recall from the minor leagues.

ROYALS 7

RED SOX 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jarrod Dyson capped a 10-pitch at-bat with a tiebreaking, two-run double in a three-run third inning off Nathan Eovaldi (7-4).

CUBS 2, MARLINS 0

CHICAGO (AP) — Alec Mills (3-1) and three relievers combined on a six-hitter as Chicago avoided a sweep after being outscored 21-3 in the previous two days.

TWINS 4, RANGERS 2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Byron Buxton launched an early two-run homer into the second deck off Dane Dunning (2-6), a day after returning following 39 games out with a strained right hip.

BREWERS 7

ROCKIES 6

DENVER (AP) — Daniel Vogelbach hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth off Daniel Bard (3-4).

GIANTS 11

PHILLIES 2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wilmer Flores had four hits, including two of San Francisco’s four home runs.

Brandon Crawford hit his 16th homer and Mike Yastrzemski combined with Flores for consecutive homers in the first off Zach Eflin (2-6). San Francisco has 107 home runs, tied with Toronto for the major league lead.

PADRES 3, REDS 2

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Wil Myers hit a two-run triple off Luis Castillo (2-10) in the third and scored on Joey Votto’s errant throw as San Diego completed its first four-game sweep of any team since Aug. 18-21, 2011, against the Reds.

MARINERS 6, RAYS 2

SEATTLE (AP) — Shed Long Jr. hit a grand slam against Diego Castillo (2-4) with two outs in the 10th inning and Seattle completed a four-game sweep that extended Tampa Bay’s losing streak to six.

DODGERS 9

DIAMONDBACKS 8

PHOENIX (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and passed Mel Ott for 14th on the career runs list, and Los Angeles extended Arizona’s losing streak to 17 games. Pujols’ 673rd home run put Los Angeles ahead 4-0 against Alex Young (2-5).

TIGERS 5, ANGELS 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit his 23rd homer, his sixth in six games, but Daz Cameron’s two-run single in the 10th off Raisel Iglesias (4-3) helped Detroit avoide a four-game sweep.

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