Bauer Shines in Afternoon Sun to Help Tribe Snap Skid; Indians 4, White Sox 2
Mike B. | On 15, Apr 2015
Did the Tribe Win Last Night? Yes! It wasn’t a no-hitter, but Trevor Bauer tossed nine hitless innings in 2015 before allowing his first knock and used the tail end of that streak to take control of the Chicago White Sox by a score of 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
Bauer tossed six hitless innings last Thursday in Houston and picked it up today, tossing three more hitless before surrendering a hit. He was still quite tough, only allowing four hits in six innings and just two runs, while the Indians made the most of timely hitting against left-hander John Danks. Lonnie Chisenhall’s double in the bottom of the fifth inning plated a pair of Tribesmen and gave them a 3-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
After a rocky weekend, the Indians bullpen cleaned up the final three innings with Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen each recording outs. Only Allen found himself in any kind of drama. The victory snaps a four-game losing streak for the Tribe and hopefully gets them back on track to their winning expectations in this young season.
WP: Bauer (2-0) LP: Danks (0-2) SV: Allen (2)
Key Inning: Top of the fourth inning. After the Indians had taken a lead in the bottom of the third inning and held a 1-0 lead, Bauer proceeded to allow his first hit of the season to Jose Abreu and walk Adam LaRoche to put a pair of runners on, with no one out. The small, one-run lead was the first lead Cleveland had had since late Saturday evening. With a pair on, and no one out, Bauer was able to work out of the jam. He struck out Conor Gillaspie for the first out before allowing a single to Alexei Ramirez to load the bases with one out. Bauer then was able to get J.B. Shuck to pop out to third base for the second out and Geovanny Soto to strike out and leave the bases loaded.
With the Indians struggling to score runs and build any momentum, Bauer’s ability to work out of the jam was key to the game. The Indians tallied a pair more in the bottom half of the inning when Lonnie Chisenhall doubled home Jerry Sands and Ryan Raburn to give them a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth they added another when Jason Kipnis walked, stole second and scored on Carlos Santana’s singled to center field. However, the momentum and direction of the game was predicated upon Bauer’s ability to get out of the fourth inning without allowing a run.
Player of the Game: Bauer. In six innings, Bauer allowed just two runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out eight on 103 pitches. After a rocky game, albeit without hits, in Houston, Bauer had much better control. Bauer still walked four batters, but only LaRoche seemed to give him trouble. He walked LaRoche three times.
LaRoche’s third walk was what led to Chicago’s two runs. He walked with one out, then advanced to third when Gillaspie doubled. The Indians conceded a run when Ramirez grounded to third base and the second run scampered home when Shuck singled to center field. Chicago cut the lead to 4-2, but was not able to get any closer on the afternoon.
They Said It: “Trying to find a good official scorekeeper here in Cleveland must be like trying to find a dinosaur.” Tom Hamilton after J.B. Shuck slipped on Michael Bourn’s hit into right field. Shuck was charged with an error, despite Hamilton’s belief that Bourn should have received credit for a double.
Standings: Cleveland improves to 3-5 on the season, while Chicago drops to the same record. The White Sox and Indians wrap up their quick two-game series tied for third place in the American League Central Division. Both teams are 4.5 games behind undefeated Kansas City, who takes the field this evening against the Minnesota Twins.
Etc.: After last night’s line drive off Carlos Carrasco, all signs are very positive. Carrasco has only a bruised jaw and has not demonstrated any signs of a concussion. Originally slated to start on Sunday in Minnesota, the Indians will push him back until Monday in Chicago to monitor him, but he intends to make his next scheduled start.
“For everything that happened, it’s miraculous,” Francona told the media before Wednesday’s game. The open spot in the rotation for Sunday will likely be filled by Zach McAllister, who pitched three and two-third innings of relief and allowed just a run on four hits, while walking one and striking one out.
Michael Brantley missed his fourth straight game on Wednesday afternoon, but Indians manager Terry Francona remains optimistic that he will be able to play on Friday in Minnesota.
Analysis: In an early season where it seems like very little has gone the way the Indians would like it to have, Bauer has been a ray of light among dark clouds. Despite some early control issues, Bauer does seem to be making the leap from an inconsistent starter, to a starter that will bring a regular solid effort. His work ethic and quality of pitches makes him a pitcher that can make the front of the Indians’ rotation a very formidable 1-2-3 punch. Considering the back of the rotation has been questionable and injury-plagued, stability at the top seems even more important than normal.
Up Next: The Indians are off Thursday before making their first trip of the year to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Twins. Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.63) will toe the rubber for the Tribe on Friday night from Target Field. Minnesota will counter with right-hander Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 7.20). Pelfrey was roughed up in his first start, allowing four runs in five innings against the Kansas City Royals. Kluber has earned a tough-luck loss on opening night in Houston and a no-decision against the Detroit Tigers last Saturday afternoon.