CINCINNATI (AP) — Logan Allen is solidifying his role as another reliable rookie starter for the Cleveland Guardians.
The 24-year-old had his best outing since July 18, allowing four hits over six innings as Cleveland got consecutive victories for the first time in three weeks with a 3-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Allen (6-5) struck out seven and walked three for the Guardians, who had not strung together wins since three in a row from July 25-27. It was the third straight strong start by a Cleveland rookie following outings by Gavin Williams and Tanner Bibee.
Cleveland can use the help. Ace Shane Bieber (right elbow). Cal Quantrill (right shoulder impingement) and Triston McKenzie (right elbow) are all sidelined.
“Tonight may be one his better (efforts) getting his breaking ball underneath some of the right-handed hitters, getting some swings and misses and getting some chase on it,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “I thought he was terrific.”
A two-run single by Kole Calhoun in the first inning and another RBI hit by Steven Kwan in seventh took care of the offense.
José Ramírez returned from a two-game suspension for fighting with Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and went 2 for 4 in the first Ohio Cup matchup this year. He moved up a slot in the order and hit second for the first time this season.
Enyel De Los Santos struck out pinch-hitter Joey Votto to strand a runner on second in the seventh. Trevor Stephan retired the side on order in the eighth, and Emmanuel Clase pitched a one-hit ninth for his 32nd save in 41 chances, giving the Guardians their 13th shutout.
Elly De La Cruz was thrown out by right fielder Will Brennan as the speedy Reds rookie tried to tag up and take second on Steer’s sixth-inning flyout.
“De La Cruz has the best wheels in the game,” Brennan said. “Just trying to keep it low and make sure they put a good tag on him. Credit to our middle infield. They always do that. Just trying to throw your best bullet.”
Cleveland (58-62), which allowed six hits, is second in the AL Central, 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota.
Cincinnati (62-59) has lost 10 of 13 and was shut out for the ninth time. The Reds, who already matched their wins total of last year, remained one game behind Miami for the last NL wild card spot.
He came in today with five different pitches was able to change speed, threw strikes,” Reds manager David Bell said of Allen. “He went right after our hitters. It made for tough at-bats all night.”
Kwan led off the game with a single and Ramírez doubled on a line drive that left fielder Spencer Steer lost in the sun. After Andrés Giménez struck out, Calhoun drove in both runners with a base hit to left field.
Graham Ashcraft (6-8) allowed all three runs seven hits in seven innings.
“It was a grind day,” Ashcraft said.
Reds left-hander Nick Lodolo, who has been out since May with a stress fracture of his tibia, is working his way back. On Tuesday the Reds transferred his rehab assignment from the Arizona Complex League to Double-A Chattanooga. It’s not clear when he could be back with the Reds.
Reds RHP Hunter Greene (right hip) allowed an unearned run and one hit over 5 2/3 innings in a rehab stint with Triple-A Louisville, throwing 83 pitches. RHP Tejay Antone allowed one run and two hits in an inning. … Jake Fraley is scheduled to have an MRI Friday to check his broken left fourth toe. He’s been out since Aug. 5.
Cleveland right-hander Noah Syndergaard (2-5, 6.35 ERA, 46 Ks) is the scheduled starter Wednesday against Reds rookie lefty Andrew Abbott (7-3, 2.95 ERA, 83 Ks).