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Guardians 8, Tigers 1: Faedo can’t keep up with Bieber in Round 2

Alex Faedo produced his first quality start for the Tigers, but no run support is hard to win with.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Faedo and Shane Bieber met for the first time just under a week ago, and the Detroit Tigers’ rookie got the win against the 2020 Cy Young Award winner. The former Florida Gator kept things close in his second matchup against the Cleveland Guardians and Bieber, but the run support never came when and the bullpen put things out of reach for Detroit after he came out of the game.

Bieber is a very talented pitcher, but the Tigers may have been too aggressive for too long in this ballgame. He only needed 94 pitches to get through eight innings and struck out just five. The Tigers scattered eight hits over the late afternoon and early evening, but none came at a time when it could’ve done the team any good.

Robbie Grossman shut down the Bieber no-hitter on the very first pitch of the ball game, but Jonathan Schoop popped out to the right side and Miguel Cabrera grounded into a double play. A promising start to the game was wasted against six fastballs and a slider.

Faedo matched the seven-pitch inning in the top of the second. Owen Miller’s ball looked like trouble off the bat as Willi Castro lost it in the sun, but Daz Cameron thankfully saved him in left-center field. Josh Naylor and Oscar Gonzalez went down quickly.

It was at that moment that Bieber told Terry Francona to hold his beer and the Guardians’ ace got out of the second inning with six pitches, courtesy of a Javy Báez pop-up and a Jeimer Candelario double play following a Harold Castro single.

The pace slowed down in the third with Faedo needing 23 pitches to get through it cleanly, while Bieber cruised to a 1-2-3 inning. The wheels came off in the fourth after a four-pitch, leadoff walk to Jose Ramirez. Faedo’s changeup got ripped twice for two runs in the inning, but things could’ve been worse. The rookie was gifted a strikeout call on a ball that missed the zone to Richie Palacios and a fortunate lineout hit right to Candelario to end the inning.

Faedo came right back at the Guardians in the fifth and got them to go down in order. The former Florida Gator snagged a comebacker from Ramirez to end the inning. The Tigers finally showed some life in the bottom of the inning with three-straight two-out singles from Candelario, Willi Castro and Cameron. A run almost scored on Cameron’s ball, but Andrés Giménez kept the ball in the infield and Tucker Barnhart struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat.

For the first time in his major league career, Faedo made it through six innings and notched a quality start in his fifth career appearance in Detroit’s rotation. Oscar Gonzalez did double to get the bullpen up, but Faedo got out of it and stayed under the century mark (94 pitches). Jonathan Schoop singled in the home half of the sixth but only made it to second base.

Jacob Barnes came out to start the seventh for the Tigers, but he couldn’t finish the inning after walking the bases loaded. Jason Foley came in to get Ramirez, but the three-time all-star cleared the bases with a triple that snuck past first base and into the right-field corner. Tigers down, 5-0. Naylor singled home a run for good measure putting it to 6-0, and Foley finally got out of the inning.

The Tigers answered back in the bottom of the seventh, proving that Bieber is indeed human. Harold Castro doubled to start the inning and was moved over on a Candelario grounder to the right side. Willi Castro hit a tall fly ball to center field that scored the other Castro, and the Tigers fans still in attendance gave a big ovation for avoiding the shutout.

Drew Carlton pitched a clean eighth for Detroit, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on a leadoff single from Tucker Barnhart. Bieber finally reached into the well for the strikeout stuff and K’d Robbie Grossman and Jonathon Schoop. Eric Haase popped up to end the inning.

Carlton came back out for the ninth and gave up a two-run shot to Ramirez, his twelfth homer of the season. Miller singled but didn’t come around.

Bieber lobbied to come back out for the complete, but Francona went with Emmanuel Clase to close it out. Báez lined out and Harold Castro logged his third hit of the game up the middle. Candelario struck out swinging, but Willi Castro kept things going with a bloop single over the shortstop into left-center. Clase walked Daz Cameron on five pitches, and Francona started wishing he’d let Bieber stay in as he pleased. Fortunately for the Guardians, Barnhart was back up to strand the bases loaded with a strikeout. Chef’s kiss.

After taking game one of the series and missing game two due to the weather, the loss sets up a rubber match on Sunday before the Twins come into town for a five-game series that features a doubleheader on Tuesday to make up for a rescheduled game earlier in the season.