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Shane Bieber sets Indians Opening Day record for strikeouts

With his 13th strikeout, Shane Bieber set a new Cleveland Indians Opening Day record for strikeouts.

CLEVELAND — For the first time since 2014, the Cleveland Indians' Opening Day starter was somebody other than Corey Kluber.

Suffice to say, Shane Bieber's new role suits him well.

With a sixth-inning strikeout of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, the right-hander tallied his 13th punch out of the night. That set a new Indians Opening Day record for strikeouts, surpassing the 12 K's that Gary Bell recorded in 1960.

One batter later, Bieber struck out Alex Gordon for his 14th punch out of the night.

Bieber's big day could very well come in a winning effort as the Indians carried a 2-0 lead over the Royals into the sixth inning. Justin Masterson was the last Indians Opening Day starter to record a win, doing so in 2013.

One year ago, the 25-year-old Bieber entered the 2019 season as Cleveland's No. 5 starter before enjoying a breakout campaign. With Kluber and Trevor Bauer having since been traded, the reigning All-Star Game MVP is now the Indians' de facto ace -- a role it doesn't appear he'll be surrendering anytime soon.

You can follow all of the latest from Friday night's season opener between the Indians and Royals, which is airing on WKYC, via our live blog.

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