Josh Donaldson went hitless in in Cleveland debut, Edwin Encarnacion reached 30 homers for the seventh straight season and the Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Cleveland lowered its magic number to three for a third straight AL Central title. Second-place Minnesota was hosting the New York Yankees.
Acquired from Toronto on Aug. 31, Donaldson went 0 for 4 in his first big league game since May 28, a layoff caused by a strained left calf. The 2015 AL MVP flied out to deep centre and deep right, struck out and grounded into a forceout. The third baseman made a nifty backhand grab on C.J. Cron’s sixth-inning grounder.
Jose Ramirez moved from third to second, and second baseman Jason Kipnis moved to centre.
Yan Gomes also homered and rookie Shane Bieber (10-3) struck out a career-high 11 in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and three walks.
Tampa Bay had its franchise record 12-game home winning streak end and lost for just the fourth time in 21 games overall.
Gomes homered in the fifth and Encarnacion in the sixth against Tyler Glasnow (0-4), who allowed six hits in seven innings.
Encarnacion, Ramirez (37) and Francisco Lindor (34) are the fifth trio of Indians to reach 30 homers in the same season.
Bieber allowed three hits and three walks. Brad Hand relieved with two on and two outs in the seventh, walked pinch-hitter Matt Duffy, then fell behind Mallex Smith 3-0 before getting him to pop out on a full-count pitch.
Cody Allen pitched a one-hit ninth, completing a four-hitter for his 27th save in 32 chances.
Tampa Bay’s Tommy Pham singled in the first and has a career-best 15-game hitting streak.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the eighth for arguing a balk called on Vidal Nuno.