Bauer Beats Up on Tigers for Fourth Time This Season; Indians 4, Tigers 1

If you haven’t started, it may be time to start considering Trevor Bauer as a legitimate American League All-Star candidate. He made another case for a trip to Washington, D.C., on Saturday, holding the Detroit Tigers to just a run on five hits in six and one-third innings of work in a 4-1 victory from Progressive Field.

For the fourth time this season, Bauer was on the mound against the second place Tigers, and the young Detroit club once again had no answers for the 27-year-old right-hander, who kept the opposition off balance and hacking away. With eleven strikeouts, Bauer notched his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the year and moved into a tie with Boston’s Chris Sale for the most strikeouts in the American League at 140.

Encarnacion – Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It was a wild first for Bauer, who had to work himself out of a big jam while pitching in front of the second sellout crowd at Progressive Field this season. He needed 13 pitches to get the first two batters out, striking out Leonys Martin looking before sitting Jeimer Candelario down swinging. Bauer walked Nicholas Castellanos on a 3-2 pitch and Victor Martinez singled to right on the next pitch to put runners on the corners. Niko Goodrum was plunked to load the bases, but Bauer worked out of his jam by striking out James McCann swinging on a slider off of the plate.

Francisco Liriano, activated from the disabled list prior to the game, had less luck than Bauer, as he was unable to escape an onslaught by the Tribe bats. An infield single by Francisco Lindor and a walk to Michael Brantley put two on for Jose Ramirez. The Indians’ on-base machine made it 30 straight games reaching safely with a single to center that scored Lindor. Brantley would be thrown out trying to advance to third, but Cleveland had a 1-0 lead. Ramirez moved to third on a wild Liriano pitch and trotted in to score on a single to center by Edwin Encarnacion. Another wild pitch moved Encarnacion into scoring position and, after a strikeout by Rajai Davis for the second out, Brandon Guyer singled to center. Encarnacion chugged around third and was thrown out by plenty at the plate, but his slide into McCann dislodged the ball, giving the Indians their third run of the game. Jason Kipnis walked before a fly out by the eighth man to bat, Roberto Perez, as the Tribe claimed an early 3-0 lead.

The Tigers squeezed out a run in the second to cut into the deficit. JaCoby Jones reached on the first Tigers hit of the game, moved to second on a stolen base, tagged up to third on a fly out to center by Jose Iglesias, and scored on a wild pitch from Bauer. The Tribe starter would hit another batter, his second of the night, but he also added two more strikeouts to his tally to give him five through the first two frames.

Liriano had an easier time in the second, setting down the side in order. He stared down trouble in the third as the defense behind him failed him, but he got them off of the hook. Ramirez reached on error to start the inning but was erased on a double play ball from Encarnacion. Davis reached on the second error of the inning and picked off second with his 15th stolen base of the year, but he was stranded on a Guyer strikeout.

Bauer worked an easy third with a strikeout and added two more in a quiet fourth, working around an infield single by Iglesias. Liriano got another double play ball in the bottom of the frame to wash away a leadoff walk to Kipnis, and Bauer struck out two more in the fifth, minimizing a two-out walk by Castellanos.

Liriano was done after four in his first start back on the roster in nearly a month. Alex Wilson entered in relief and was greeted by a long at bat with Lindor, who took two strikes, fouled off two more, saw two sliders out of the zone, and then got one up and in that he turned on and crushed down the right field line for his 18th blast of the season and his second in as many days, extending the Indians’ lead to 4-1.

Bauer gave up his fourth hit of the game with a two-out single by Jones, but he was caught stealing to end the sixth. His eleventh strikeout of the day started his seventh, but a single by Iglesias brought manager Terry Francona to the mound. Oliver Perez got the job done, getting a pair of outs to end the inning. Neil Ramirez pitched the eighth, striking out a pair and walking one. Cody Allen earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth, striking out Jones and Iglesias before getting Dixon Machado to fly to right.

The Indians (42-33) reached a season-high nine games above the .500 mark with the victory, their sixth in a row. Their lead over the Tigers (36-41) grew to seven full games as Detroit dropped their fourth in a row.

Bauer – Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Bauer entered the game on Saturday with a 3-0 record against the Tigers in three starts this season with just three runs allowed in 23 innings of work (1.17 ERA) with 18 hits and three walks allowed (0.91 WHIP) and 29 strikeouts. He added to that damage, earning a fourth straight victory against the Tigers this season with six and one-thirds innings of work, allowing a run on five hits with two walks, two hit batters, and eleven strikeouts.

“I wish it hadn’t rained last game,” said Bauer of his strikeout total. “It would have been six in a row, but I’ll start a new streak this time.”


Liriano lasted just four innings in his return from the shelf, taxed for 75 pitches (just 39 strikes) in his short start. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits, walked three, and struck out three. A pair of wild pitches further hurt his cause, as well as his inability to get in front of batters early as he fired first pitch strikes to just half of the 18 men that he faced.


The Tigers made a pair of roster moves prior to the game to fortify their team.

Liriano was activated from the 10-day disabled list after missing nearly a month of action. Pitcher Artie Lewicki was also recalled from Triple-A Toledo. To make room for the pair, infielder Ronny Rodriguez, a former Indians prospect, was optioned to Toledo, while reliever Johnny Barbato was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder discomfort.


The Indians will look for a seventh straight win and a second straight series sweep in the final game of their nine-game homestand on Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland will see its second straight left-handed opponent, as Matthew Boyd (4-5, 3.63 ERA) takes the ball for Detroit. The Indians will return right-handed rookie Adam Plutko (3-1, 5.40) to the starting rotation after a couple of rough starts and one relief appearance.

The series finale on Sunday is scheduled for a 1:10 PM ET start.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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