Bauer Victorious in Battle of 2011 First Rounders; Indians 8, Marlins 3

Trevor Bauer won the battle of 2011 first rounders on Saturday night as his offense picked him up after a rough first inning to defeat Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins by an 8-3 count.

Things did not start fun for the Indians, but the tide quickly shifted in their favor. Bauer gave up a one-out single to Ichiro Suzuki and walked Martin Prado before Christian Yelich doubled deep to right center to put the Marlins on the board four batters into the night. A single by J.T. Realmuto moved Yelich to third and Derek Dietrich, the local product of St. Ignatius High School in his first at bat against his hometown team, lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Yelich and give Miami an early 3-0 lead.

The Indians struck back quickly against the hard-throwing Fernandez, who entered with back-to-back scoreless starts totaling 13 innings in his favor. Coco Crisp, in his first start with the Indians since 2005, doubled to left center and Jason Kipnis plated a pair with a two-run blast to right. His 22nd homer of the season cut the deficit to 3-2.

Kipnis & Crisp - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Kipnis & Crisp – Jason Miller/Getty Images

After wasting Francisco Lindor’s double in the first, the Indians did not waste the next ones that came in the second. After a groundout from Abraham Almonte, Tyler Naquin doubled to center and came in to score on a double to right by Roberto Perez as the Indians tied the game at three.

Cleveland continued their slow and steady chipping away at Fernandez in the third after Lindor hit his second double of the night and the Indians’ fifth through their first 12 batters. Carlos Santana drove him home with a single to center and the Tribe had a 4-3 lead. Jose Ramirez walked and Lonnie Chisenhall sacrificed both runners up a base before Almonte’s sacrifice fly made it a 5-3 Indians lead.

Fernandez contained the Indians in the fifth, but could not do so in the sixth as Cleveland put together a rally with two outs to end his night. Crisp singled and moved to third on a single by Kipnis. Lindor drove home Crisp with a single to right and Kipnis would score on a throwing error by Suzuki to give the Tribe a 7-3 lead. Mike Dunn took over on the mound for Fernandez and, after walking Santana, retired Ramirez on a fly to center.

Bauer pitched masterfully after his first inning issues. He retired the side in order in the second and faced the minimum in the third after Yelich walked but was picked off. He saw three batters in the fourth and fifth innings, ending each with a strikeout. Suzuki walked to lead off the sixth, but was erased on a double play ball by Prado. Bauer faced the minimum again in the seventh and eighth.

The Tribe added one more in the bottom of the inning as they loaded the bases against Nefi Ogando. With one down, Crisp reached on error and both Kipnis and Lindor drew walks. Santana reached on a fielder’s choice with Crisp scoring on the play to make it an 8-3 game. Ramirez and Chisenhall were retired to end the threat.

Miller - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Miller – Jason Miller/Getty Images

After a single by Suzuki and a flyout by Prado to start the ninth, Bauer handed the ball over to Andrew Miller. The Indians lefty got Yelich to pop to short and Realmuto to fly to right to end it.

The Indians (78-56) improved their winning streak to five straight games, guaranteeing at least a .500 homestand. They have won four straight over the Marlins, dating back to their loss against Fernandez to start the 2013 series. Cleveland is now 44-23 at home this year. The Marlins (68-68) have lost seven of eight and could not get the job done with their ace on the mound.


Bauer (10-6, 3.70 ERA) kicked his game into another gear after the tough first inning. After the three runs allowed to start the game, he did not allow another hit until the ninth inning, when Suzuki singled to start the final frame.

“I thought I threw the ball really well in the first,” shared Bauer. “The offense came back and put up two real quick, which is great for the team psyche, especially facing a guy that’s really good.”

Bauer went eight and one-third innings while outdueling his fellow first round draft pick member from 2011 in Fernandez, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts on the night.

Fernandez - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Fernandez – Jason Miller/Getty Images


Entering Saturday’s game, Fernandez had faced Cleveland once and destroyed them with a 14-strikeout performance in eight scoreless innings in his rookie season back in 2013.

That Fernandez (13-8, 3.03) was not the one that the Indians knocked around for a career-high 12 hits allowed over five and two-thirds innings. The Indians scored seven times, with six being charged to Fernandez as earned runs. He walked a pair and struck out five while throwing 114 pitches to 30 batters on the night.


All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna missed a third consecutive game with a sore left wrist. He injured it making a diving catch in the Marlins loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday.


Northeast Ohio native Dietrich appeared in his first Major League game against his home town club on Saturday night after the Marlins activated him from the 15-day disabled list. He was 0-for-2 at the plate while playing first base, driving in a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly.

Dietrich is the grandson of one-time Indians third baseman Steve Demeter, who played for Cleveland in 1960 after being acquired in a trade from Detroit for slugging first baseman Norm Cash. Demeter lived in Parma, Ohio, before passing away in 2013 at the age of 78, just three months before his grandson would make his MLB debut with the Marlins.


Making his first start back with the Indians in more than a decade, Crisp jump started the Cleveland offense with his leadoff double before adding a pair of singles later in the contest. He also reached in the eighth on an error.

“You don’t want to come in and strike out four or five times,” said Crisp. “You want to do something special.”

It was the fifth three-hit game of the season for the 36-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, who got the start at designated hitter.

Lindor - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Lindor – Jason Miller/Getty Images


Lindor continued to push his batting average higher and higher with a solid 4-for-4 performance at the plate. The Indians’ leading hitter is now batting .319 on the season with a .363 on-base percentage. He had two doubles, giving him 26 on the year, and two more singles. He also got an RBI in the sixth when two would come around to score after his single to right.


The series finale between the Fish and Tribe is scheduled for an unusual 4:10 PM ET holiday weekend start from Progressive Field on Sunday.

Danny Salazar (11-6, 3.88) will go for the Tribe, looking for his first win in nearly seven weeks. Miami will send 30-year-old right-hander Tom Koehler (9-10, 4.02), who will be tasked with preventing a Marlins sweep at the bats and arms of the Indians.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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