CLEVELAND, Ohio – In his second Major League start, former UC Santa Barbara star pitcher Shane Bieber picked up his first career victory after helping the Cleveland Indians to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon.
Bieber became just the fourth pitcher in Indians history to strike out six or more batters in each of his first two career MLB appearances after he struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. He scattered 10 hits while allowing just one earned run and one walk on 89 pitches while working out of trouble multiple times. With runners in scoring position, Bieber was virtually unhittable as the Twins went just 1-for-9 with six strikeouts.
"I just tried to go out there and do my thing," Bieber said. "I tried to be me as a pitcher. I tried to give my team a chance to win and ate up as many innings as I could."
In his MLB debut on May 31, also against the Twins, Bieber was handed a no-decision after tossing 5 2/3 innings and allowing four runs with six strikeouts in an eventual 9-8 win for Cleveland.
"I think he has tremendous composure," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "That's part of the reason he won today. It's nice to see anybody execute their best pitches when the game is on the line. Sometimes nobody on, nobody out, it's easy to let it go. But when you have to make a pitch, and you're able to make your best pitch, that bodes well for us."
Bieber is rated as the No. 3 overall prospect in the Indians organization and is No. 97 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list. In 12 starts between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season, the 23-year-old right-hander is 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 72 strikeouts against just six walks in 76.2 innings.