CLEVELAND — Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer, Shane Bieber dominated Tampa Bay for 7 2/3 innings and the young Cleveland Guardians played evenly in their postseason debut, beating the Rays 2-1 on Friday. Their wild card series.
Ramirez’s home run off Shane McClanahan’s pitch in the sixth inning helped Cleveland end an eight-game playoff losing streak and keep the club one win away from advancing to its first season under the Guardians name.
Bieber, who made his only playoff appearance two years ago, allowed just three hits and struck out eight before leaving the mound with a runner on in the eighth.
Emmanuel Glass took over from there, getting four outs for his first save of the season in just 2:17 of the game. Cleveland’s closer led the major leagues with 42 saves during the regular season.
Jose Siri homered for the Rays, who suffered their sixth straight loss overall and need to win Game 2 of the series on Saturday to force a decisive Game 3. The series winner will face the AL East champion New York Yankees in the division series starting Tuesday in the Bronx.
With 17 players making their Major League debuts, the Guardians entered the playoffs without any experience. However, Ramirez and Bieber have already played in the postseason and are both standouts for the American League Central champions.
For the Guardians, Dominicans Amed Rosario had a run in a 4-2 win, Jose Ramirez had a run in a 4-3 win, and two RBIs, while Oscar Gonzalez had a 4-1 win. Venezuela Andres Gimenez 3-1.
For the Rays, Cuba’s Yandy Diaz is 4-0, Randy Arosarena is 4-0. Dominicans Vander Franco 4-0, Manuel Marcotte 3-0, Jose Siri 3-1 with one run and an RBI. Colombian Harold Ramirez 3-1. Panama Christian Bethancourt 3-0. Mexican Isaac Paredes 1-1.