(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Minnesota ace Kenta Maeda cruised through 7 innings of scoreless baseball in Friday night's pitcher's duel in Minneapolis. Maeda finished the game tossing 7 full innings, giving up zero runs on four hits, striking out 7 batters. Byron Buxton jumped on a hanging slider from Bieber to put the Twins ahead early, and they never looked back on their way to a 3-1 win over the visiting tribe.
Cleveland starter Shane Bieber was excellent outside of one mistake, which ended up being a big one. On a rainy night in Minnesota, Bieber appeared to have trouble gripping the ball on his breaking pitches, which resulted in a hanging slider down the pipe to Minneota center fielder Byron Buxton, who made Bieber pay. The Cleveland right hander came into his own after the 2nd inning, until the rain picked back up in the 7th. Ryan Jeffers jumped on a hanging slider from Bieber, launching a solo shot 432 feet to give the Twins a 3-run lead.
Tribe acting manager Sandy Alomar Jr switched things up a bit by moving Lindor to the leadoff spot, tempting to provide a spark to a struggling Indians lineup. Despite the change in batting order, the woes continued for the Indians, who managed to muster only six hits while scoring one run.
The Cleveland Indians will look to bounce back against the mighty Twins on Saturday evening. Saturday's matchup pits Cleveland hurler Zach Plesac against Minnesota left hander and former tribe pitcher Rich Hill. First pitch is set for 8:07 pm ET at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.