EditorsNote: removes extraneous word from fifth graf
Trevor Bauer won his individual matchup against Gerrit Cole, his former college staff mate, and the Cleveland Indians claimed the opener of their four-game series with the host Houston Astros 2-1 Thursday.
Bauer (3-1) allowed at least one baserunner in each of his eight innings yet faced just one batter with a runner in scoring position. With two runners on and one out in the sixth inning, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa grounded into a double play after failing to run out of the batter’s box. Correa appeared to foul the pitch off his left foot but was ruled out after the umpires conferred.
With one out in the eighth, Indians catcher Roberto Perez erased Jose Altuve as he attempted to swipe second base. That was the second baserunner that Perez eliminated; he nabbed Michael Brantley in the fourth when Brantley attempted to take second base on a ball in the dirt.
With the bases empty and two outs after Perez threw out Altuve, Bauer induced a harmless fly ball to right from Alex Bregman, capping his 118-pitch outing with four hits, six walks and three strikeouts. He recorded just eight swinging strikes yet posted 21 called strikes, nine on his fastball.
The Astros managed one run off Bauer: a 411-foot solo home run from George Springer with two outs in the third that pulled the Astros even at 1-1. It was Springer’s eighth homer on the season. But Cleveland again pulled ahead against the right-hander Cole in the fifth when Jake Bauers led off with a 343-foot shot to left.
Cole (1-4) and Bauer both pitched for UCLA and their relationship as professionals has been icy at best. Cole was strong throughout his seven frames, allowing three hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts. However, two of those hits cleared the fence, with Leonys Martin providing the Indians a 1-0 lead with his solo homer to right field with two outs in the third. Cole has given up six home runs over six starts this season.
Indians closer Brad Hand retired the Astros in order in the ninth for his seventh save.
—Field Level Media