CLEVELAND (AP) — John Means carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and Anthony Santander drove in a pair of runs, sending the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles over the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 on Saturday night.
Means, a 30-year-old left-hander, was making his third start in 17 months following Tommy John surgery. Cleveland's only hit -- and lone hard-hit ball -- occurred when Andrés Giménez pulled a chanegup to right for a 406-foot homer.
Means (1-1) allowed three baserunners in 7 1/3 innings on a walk, hit batter and Giménez's home run. He threw a season-high 96 pitches and struck out four after going five innings in each of his first two outings, his first big league appearances since surgery on April 27 last year.
Baltimore, which has clinched its first postseason berth since 2016, maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the division and for the best record in the AL. Baltimore has seven games remaining and holds the tiebreaker over the Rays.
Yennier Cano retired both batters he faced in the eighth, and Cionel Pérez worked the ninth for his third save.
Santander doubled in rookie Gunnar Henderson in the first, then singled home James McCann in the sixth. Giménez was the only Cleveland player to get past first base.
Guardians starter Cal Quantrill (3-7) allowed one run, five hits and a season-high four walks in four innings. The right-hander struck out four and has a 1.95 ERA in five September outings.
Cleveland rookie catcher Bo Naylor, who bruised his right thumb Friday, was held out for precautionary reasons. Shortstop Gabriel Arias left in the fifth after being struck on the right wrist by a Means pitch.
Guardians RHP Shane Bieber has been tabbed to start the home finale Wednesday against Cincinnati, which also will be Terry Francona's last game as Cleveland's manager at Progressive Field.
It could be the last home appearance for Bieber, as well, who may be traded in the offseason. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner returned from a two-month stay on the injured list Friday by pitching five innings.
Orioles: RHP Félix Bautista (right ulnar collateral ligament tear) threw a bullpen session Friday with injured 1B Ryan Mountcastle standing in the batter's box, but his postseason status remains unclear, The All-Star closer has not pitched since Aug. 25.
Guardians: LHP Logan Allen (left shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list, ending his season after 24 starts and 125 1/3 innings. Allen was 7-8 with a 3.81 ERA and 119 strikeouts, ranking sixth among AL rookies in victories and strikeouts.
Orioles RHP Kyle Gibson (14-9, 5.00 ERA) takes on Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie (0-1, 4.50 ERA) in the four-game series finale. McKenzie, who will be activated off the IL for his first start since June 10, has been plagued by shoulder and elbow injuries all season.
(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
for more features.