EditorsNote: Tweaks in 2nd, 5th and 13th grafs
Trevor Bauer pitched into the eighth inning in humid conditions at Kauffman Stadium as the visiting Cleveland Indians edged the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Wednesday night.
Bauer (8-6) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings and won for the fourth time in six starts. The right-hander went at least seven innings for the ninth time this season.
Bauer struck out eight, walked one, threw 108 pitches and improved to 6-3 against AL Central opponents. He retired seven consecutive hitters before allowing a leadoff double to Whit Merrifield to open the eighth with the Indians nursing a 3-2 lead.
Merrifield was thrown out trying to steal third by catcher Roberto Perez for the second out of the eighth. Perez’s throw proved significant when Salvador Perez singled up the middle.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona brought in left-hander Oliver Perez to face left-handed-hitting Lucas Duda. The move paid off as Oliver Perez froze Duda with an outside fastball for strike three.
Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save of the year, converting his 13th straight save chance. He also set a team record with his 140th save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman.
Allen allowed a one-out double to Alex Gordon but fanned Hunter Dozier and Alcides Escobar to end it.
The Royals lost their sixth straight and fell for the 24th time in 28 games.
Cleveland’s only hits were a first-inning RBI double by Michael Brantley, a leadoff double by Jason Kipnis in the fourth along with two-out singles by Roberto Perez and Greg Allen in the ninth.
The Indians won their 10th straight game over an AL Central opponent. They are five shy of the team record for wins over division foes set during their 22-game winning streak last season.
The Indians also won a July 4 road game for the first time since a 5-1 win at Tiger Stadium in 1973. They were 0-11 in their previous 11 road games on Independence Day before Wednesday.
After Brantley opened the scoring, Cleveland got sacrifice flies from Edwin Encarnacion in the first inning and Greg Allen in the second for a 3-0 lead.
Gordon stole home for Kansas City’s first run in the second when he broke from third while the Indians had Dozier in a rundown between first and second. Merrifield lifted a sacrifice fly in the fifth before Bauer struck out Salvador Perez.
Kansas City’s Trevor Oaks (0-2) allowed three runs on two hits in four innings. He was called up for his second start after Ian Kennedy landed on the disabled list due to a strained left oblique.
—Field Level Media