The Minnesota Twins picked up an important victory in the American League Central race on Friday night as Kenta Maeda out-dueled Shane Bieber in a 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Going up against a favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award, Maeda was masterful on the mound. The right-hander threw seven shutout innings holding the Indians to four hits while striking out seven.
While Maeda shut down the Indians at the plate, the Twins took advantage in the second inning with Byron Buxton's seventh home run of the season off Bieber to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
The Twins added another run off Bieber in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Jeffers launched his second home run of the season to add insurance for the Twins' bullpen.
Although the game got rocky during an altercation between Francisco Lindor and Sergio Romo that cleared the benches, the Twins handled it from there with Taylor Rogers picking up the save and closing out the series-opening victory.
The Twins will send Rich Hill to the mound for the second game on Saturday night to oppose Zach Plesac for a 7:07 p.m. start.