CLEVELAND (AP) – Shane Bieber struck out nine over seven innings to snap a three-game losing streak and Franmil Reyes hit a two-run homer as the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 8-6 on Wednesday night.
All-Star Game MVP Bieber (13-7) allowed two runs and six hits in winning for the first time in five starts since Aug. 9. The right-hander also earned his first victory over the White Sox in three outings this season.
The Indians are in a tight race with Oakland and Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot in the AL.
Reyes belted his 34th home run – his seventh since being acquired from San Diego – to extend Cleveland’s lead to 6-2 in the fifth. He is batting .400 with five homers and 15 RBIs over his last 12 contests.
The Indians held an 8-2 advantage in the eighth before Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson each hit two-run homers for Chicago, the latter off closer Brad Hand.
Nick Wittgren replaced Hand with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, retiring Eloy Jimenez when Oscar Mercado made a spectacular leaping catch in center field, then struck out Ryan Goins for his fourth save.
Mercado had three hits and fellow rookie Yu Chang singled twice and drove in two runs for Cleveland, which has lost four of six. Reyes scored three times and Yasiel Puig went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Chicago starter Ivan Nova (9-12) gave up six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander entered the day with the highest opponent batting average in the majors at .294 and ranks second with 198 hits allowed.
Anderson had three hits and two runs. Daniel Palka went hitless in four at-bats, making him 1-for-53 on the season.