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Rookie Tanner Bibee, 3 relievers combine on five-hitter as Guardians beat Cubs 6-0

Tanner Bibee
Posted at 9:23 AM, Jul 02, 2023

(AP) — Tanner Bibee took a few swings in the batting cage for fun during the lengthy rain delay. Other than that, he didn't do much.

It was a different story once the rookie stepped on the mound.

Bibee and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on Saturday night.

Bibee (5-2) tossed three-hit ball into the sixth while outpitching Marcus Stroman, and the Guardians came out on top in a game delayed 2 hours, 45 minutes at the start.

Bibee said he did “a lot of nothing” and “swung a bat in the cage a little bit” while the teams waited out the rain.

“Obviously, 2 hours and 45 minutes is a super long time, but it was kind of whatever,” he said. “Hanging out with the guys, seeing what everyone's doing, kinda just figuring out stuff to do.”

Amed Rosario lined a two-run single in the third. Andrés Giménez chased Stroman (9-6) with an RBI single in a four-run sixth, and the Guardians bounced back after getting pounded 10-1 the previous night. The Cubs had matched a season high with their five straight losses after winning 11 of 13.

STRONG START

Bibee went 5 2/3 innings in his first scoreless outing and matched a season high with nine strikeouts while walking two. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 96 pitches — 63 strikes — and improved to 4-1 in his past five starts.

Bibee walked the first two batters in the fourth, only to retire the next three. His ability to get out of that jam stood out to manager Terry Francona.

“He has the ability to reach back for more, which is good,” Francona said. “He's gonna get deeper and deeper and deeper as he learns the command — and he will.”

Sam Hentges, Nick Sandlin and Eli Morgan combined to finish Cleveland’s seventh shutout.

STROMAN STUMBLES

Stroman dropped his second straight start after winning seven in a row. The right-hander lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and five hits

Stroman looked sharp in the early going, after giving up six runs in last Sunday’s loss to St. Louis in London and exiting with a blister on his right index finger. He retired the first eight batters before Cleveland grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third.

Bo Naylor walked. Steven Kwan doubled on a ball that first baseman Jared Young deflected, and Rosario then drove them in with a line-drive single to center.

The Guardians broke it open in the sixth.

José Ramírez singled and came around on Giménez’s hit. Will Brennan greeted Julian Merryweather with an RBI single. Two more runs came in when Myles Straw singled and center fielder Cody Bellinger let the ball get past him, making it 6-0.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie was in Cleveland after getting a second opinion on the strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. “I just think he’s taking some time to try to process everything he’s been told, which is a lot as you can imagine,” manager Terry Francona said. ... RHP Peyton Battenfield (right shoulder stiffness) is scheduled to throw 65 pitches for Double-A Akron in a rehab outing on Tuesday.

Cubs: OF Seiya Suzuki (stiff neck) was in the lineup as the designated hitter after missing the previous three games. ... LHP Brandon Hughes (surgical debridement of left knee) was headed to Arizona to begin rehabRHP Jameson Taillon (2-6, 6.90). ... Manager David Ross said the reports on 3B Patrick Wisdom (sprained right wrist) — on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa — are positive. “He's progressing well. No setbacks,” Ross said.

UP NEXT

The weekend series wraps up with RHP Aaron Civale (2-2, 3.18 ERA) starting for Cleveland and RHP Jameson Taillon (2-6, 6.90) pitching for Chicago.