Trevor Bauer struck out a season-high 12 batters over 6 2/3 innings as the host Cleveland Indians recorded a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match of their series.
Jake Bauers and Tyler Naquin each belted a solo homer, and Francisco Lindor collected three hits and scored twice for the Indians, who have won 10 of their last 13 games.
Bauer (6-6), who allowed one run on three hits, highlighted his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the season by fanning the side in the fourth inning before encountering trouble in the fifth.
Humberto Arteaga and Cam Gallagher each had two-out singles before Billy Hamilton’s blooper landed just inside the left field line to plate Arteaga and trim Cleveland’s lead to 4-1.
Bauer struck out two batters in the seventh inning but saw his pitch count elevate to a career high-tying 127 after issuing his lone walk of the afternoon to Gallagher, ending his day.
Jordan Luplow had RBI single in the eighth inning to extend the Indians’ lead to 5-1. In the ninth, Lucas Duda belted a solo homer off Nick Wittgren, and Alex Gordon slapped an RBI single for the final margin.
Wittgren, who got the nod after Brad Hand squandered his first save opportunity in Tuesday’s 8-6 setback, struck out three batters in the ninth.
Lindor got the ball rolling in the first inning by slapping a single to right field before promptly stealing second base. He advanced to third on Carlos Santana’s single before coming home on Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice fly.
Lindor doubled off Jakob Junis (4-7) to lead off the third inning before scoring on rookie Oscar Mercado’s single to right field to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
Bauers snapped an 0-for-15 slide leading off the fourth inning by depositing a 1-2 fastball from Junis just inside the foul pole in right field. The homer was Bauers’ 10th of the season and first since June 18.
Naquin followed suit two batters later by sending a 3-2 fastball into the seats in right field for his sixth homer of the season and second in as many days.
—Field Level Media