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Shane Bieber named opening-day starter for 5th consecutive season for Cleveland Guardians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Shane Bieber, who has shown signs of being an ace again for Cleveland following an injury-slowed 2023, will start the Guardians' opener for the fifth straight season.

The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, Bieber has had a solid spring training with the Guardians after making just 21 starts last season due to elbow issues.

The 28-year-old has shown an uptick in velocity, another sign he's healthy and returning to form. Bieber went 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA last season but was sidelined from mid-July until late September.

Bieber is 60-32 with a 3.27 ERA in 134 games since debuting with Cleveland in 2018. The right-hander won the Cy Young in the pandemic-shortened '20 season, when he led the majors in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

Bieber was selected All-Star Game MVP when Cleveland hosted in 2019.

He joins Corey Kluber and Stan Coveleski as the only pitchers in franchise history to start five consecutive openers.

The Guardians open March 28 in Oakland. The game will also be a homecoming for first-year Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt, who retired following the 2022 season with the Athletics.

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Editors: An incorrect photo that was previously linked to this story has been removed.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb