Minneapolis – Kenta Maeda hurled seven shutout innings and earned his fifth win of the season in the Minnesota Twins’ 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday.
Maeda (5-1) allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked two in a 94-pitch effort backed by Byron Buxton’s two-run home run in the second and Ryan Jeffers’ seventh-inning solo shot off Shane Bieber (7-1).
“I knew the opposing pitcher was good and didn’t think we could win easily so I felt I had to hang in there,” said Maeda. “I think it’s a really big win for the team and it was a good outing for me.”
Bieber has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year and has made few mistakes.
Buxton prepared himself for the rare occasion and sent a misplaced slider into the empty seats on the first pitch he saw.
“He’s tough. We got him tonight because we stayed focused,” said Buxton, who followed Jake Cave’s double in the second with his seventh home run of the season. “That’s what it takes to go out there and beat one of the best pitchers in the league.”
Bieber (7-1) yielded five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings, matching a season-most three runs allowed on the homers by Buxton and rookie Ryan Jeffers. This was the first time the right-hander was taken deep in six starts.
“It really came down to I made two mistakes,” said the 25-year-old Bieber, who’s quickly become the leader of a stout rotation that has seen Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger all traded within the last 14 months.
Maeda, in his first season with Minnesota, has been no slouch, lowering his ERA to 2.43. His walks-and-hits-per-inning rate is the best in baseball.
“I’m trying to fulfill the expectations that the team has for me,” he said. “I think I’ve been doing that pretty well.”
Rockies 8, Angels 4
Brewers 1, Cubs 0
Mets 18, Blue Jays 1
Yankees 6, Orioles 0 (1st)
Yankees 10, Orioles 1 (2nd)
Phillies 11, Marlins 0 (1st)
Marlins 5, Phillies 3 (2nd)
Nationals 8, Braves 7 (12)
Athletics 10, Rangers 6
Reds 3, Cardinals 1
Rays 11, Red Sox 1
Royals 4, Pirates 3
White Sox 4, Tigers 3
Diamondbacks 4, Mariners 3
Giants at Padres — ppd