Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer made his shortest start of the season against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, but it didn’t matter. The 27-year-old righthander struck out 11 while limiting the Tigers to just one run on five hits, and tallied his fourth win over Detroit this year in a 4-1 Indians victory.
For a while, it looked like Bauer wouldn’t even get through six innings. The Tigers loaded the bases against him in the first inning, but James McCann struck out to end the threat. Meanwhile, the Indians offense jumped on lefthander Francisco Liriano quickly, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. The first four batters Liriano faced all reached base, giving Cleveland a quick 2-0 lead. Liriano struck out Rajai Davis for the second out of the frame, but Brandon Guyer slapped a two-out single to center to score Cleveland’s third run of the game.
That would be all the run support Bauer needed. The Tigers got one run back in the top of the second, but only in the small-balliest way possible. JaCoby Jones singled to lead off the inning, stole second, advanced to third on a Jose Iglesias flyout, and scored on a wild pitch. Bauer only allowed four more baserunners after the second inning, all in separate innings. He departed in the seventh after allowing a single to Dixon Machado, but Oliver Perez recorded two outs to end any semblance of a scoring threat.
If there’s a bright spot to be found here, it’s the Tigers bullpen. Alex Wilson allowed a solo home run to Francisco Lindor in the fifth inning for Cleveland’s fourth run, but that and a late single from Erik Gonzalez were all Detroit’s ‘pen surrendered. Louis Coleman and Joe Jimenez both threw scoreless innings, and Jimenez continued to build his All-Star case.
Joe Jimenez now has an ERA below 2.0, a FIP below 2.0 and a strikeout to walk ratio over 5.0— Ron W (@FIPmyWHIP) June 24, 2018
Unfortunately, the bullpen’s work was largely wasted by the Tigers offense, who finished with just five hits.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
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