Bibee pitches 7 strong innings, Guardians edge Blue Jays 1-0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Tanner Bibee pitched seven innings and Ramón Laureano drove in the game’s only run in his Cleveland debut, giving the Guardians a 1-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Bibee (8-2) allowed six singles — three by Whit Merrifield — and remained unbeaten in his last nine starts. The right-hander struck out six and showed a veteran’s poise while working out of a bases-loaded jam.

Laureano, claimed off waivers on Monday from Oakland, hit an RBI double in the second inning off Yusei Kikuchi (9-4), who gave up only three hits in seven innings.

Trevor Stephan pitched the eighth and Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase worked around two infield singles in the ninth for his 30th save. Clase retired pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk on a fly to centre with runners at first and third for the final out.

The Blue Jays had their winning streak stopped at four. They dropped to 14-5 on the road since June 20.

Cleveland’s José Ramírez, who is appealing his three-game suspension for fighting Chicago’s Tim Anderson, went 0-for-3. The Guardians still don’t know when Ramírez will have his appeal heard by the commissioner’s office.

Guardians manager Terry Francona returned to the dugout after serving a one-game suspension for his actions during the Anderson-Ramírez brouhaha.

Bibee, who has steadily gotten stronger this season, was in trouble in the third.

The Blue Jays got three straight one-out singles before the right-hander, who is 6-0 since June 18, locked up George Springer for a strikeout and then fanned Daulton Varsho to end Toronto’s threat.

While Bibee was holding the Jays in check, Kikuchi was just as tough on the Guardians. He retired 17 of 18 after Laureano’s double.

Laureano took a red-eye flight from San Francisco and didn’t get to Cleveland until 6 a.m. He was still thrilled to be in the lineup on his first day and then made the most out of his fresh start with a big hit in his first at-bat.

Oscar Gonzalez led off the second with an infield single and Laureano then pulled a ball down the third-base line and into the corner.

CLOSE CALL

The Blue Jays were relieved that starter Hyun Jin Ryu wasn’t seriously injured after taking a line drive off the right knee on Monday.

Manager John Schneider said X-rays on Ryu were negative, and the left-hander should be able to make his next start on Sunday.

The 36-year-old South Korean went down in the infield grass after he was struck by the shot from Cleveland’s Oscar Gonzalez. Ryu retrieved the ball and threw out Gonzalez before collapsing to the right of the mound.

RARE ROOKIE

By rule, Francona was not allowed to be on the field Monday, so he took in the series opener from his office.

From there, he had a good view of rookie Gavin Williams dominating Toronto hitters for seven innings. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out 12, the first Cleveland rookie to do that since Luis Tiant in 1964.

“That was exciting to watch,” Francona said. “I don’t care if you’re on my couch or in the dugout. That’s kind of nice to see.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL to give the nasty cut he suffered on Sunday in Boston time to heal. Kiermaier made a leaping catch at the wall, but ripped his arm open on a metal fencing in Fenway Park.

Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (shoulder) will begin his rehab assignment for Triple-A Columbus at Toledo on Wednesday. Quantrill last pitched for the Guardians on July 5 before he was shut down just a week after being activated from the injured list. … Francona said starting RHPs Shane Bieber (elbow) and Triston McKenzie (elbow) continue to make progress as the team holds out hope they’ll be back in 2023. “They’re not close to pitching,” Francona said. “But by all accounts they’re doing OK, and I’d rather hear that than something else.”

UP NEXT

Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (8-6, 3.20 ERA) will make his eighth career appearance against the Guardians and face rookie LHP Logan Allen (5-4, 3.65 ERA).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Tom Withers, The Associated Press

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