CHICAGO (AP) — Shane Bieber pitched two-run ball into the eighth inning and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 Thursday night to sweep the three-game series.
Cleveland opened up a seven-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central with its 15th victory in 18 games. The Guardians (83-67) can clinch the franchise’s first division title since 2018 as early as Sunday.
Bieber (12-8) earned his fourth straight victory. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed seven hits, struck out five and didn’t walk in 7 2/3 innings.
Trevor Stephan finished eighth and Emmanuel Clase managed ninth for his AL-best 37th save in 41 chances.
Gavin Sheets homered for Chicago in the eighth. Johnny Cueto (7-9) allowed four runs, three earned and eight hits in six innings in his third straight loss.
The White Sox (76-74) have lost three in a row and four of six overall.
Cleveland went ahead to get José Ramírez’s sacrifice fly in the third. Steven Kwan hit an RBI triple in the fifth and scored on another sacrifice fly by Ramirez, giving the Guardians a 4-1 lead.
The White Sox, who started September going 8-2 but couldn’t make up much ground on the Guardians, scored a run in the first on Eloy Jimenez’s RBI single.
The Guardians’ second run was set up by a pickoff attempt by Cueto that bounced off the glove of first baseman Jose Abreu in the third. The ball rolled to the dugout fence and allowed Amed Rosario to run from first to third. He came home a pitch later on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez.
Keepers: RHP Zach Plesac (broken finger) could get a start or two before the end of the season, but GM Terry Francona said it will only happen if Plesac is ready. He has been out since August 30.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Keepers: Cody Morris (0-2, 2.30 ERA) faces Texas right-hander Jon Gray (7-7, 3.80 ERA) on Friday night.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (10-9, 5.07 ERA) faces Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-5, 4.35 ERA) on Friday night.