TIGERS (26-44) AT INDIANS (39-35)
7:10 p.m. ET; ST-OH, FS-D, MLB.TV
Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer earned American League Player of the Week honors for his sterling performance on Sunday against the downtrodden Detroit Tigers.
Bauer will be looking for an encore when the Indians open a three-game homestand against their Central Division rival on Friday.
In his 176th major league appearance and 166th start, Bauer tossed the first complete-game shutout of his career on Sunday. He allowed just four hits, walked none and struck out eight in his 117-pitch gem.
“Any time you go out there and throw nine innings and don’t give up any runs, you’re doing a lot of things right,” manager Terry Francona said afterward. “Early in the game, he pitched around that leadoff triple (to Harold Castro in the second). At the time, it was a 1-0 game. From there, we got him some runs, and he really settled in.”
Bauer, who hadn’t been credited with a win since April 30, hinted to MLB.com that his performance could have been even more dominant.
“Mostly, I was just upset that my strikeouts were lagging, so I was trying to get ahead of people to get some strikeouts,” he said. “Got a lot of first-pitch outs, which kept the pitch count down, and no walks. How about that? If I could have punched out the side in the ninth, I could have gotten to 10 and no walks, and I think that’s rarefied air, or something.”
Bauer lost to the Tigers in April after winning all four of his starts against them last season. He’s 9-6 with a 5.17 ERA in 18 career appearances (17 starts) against Detroit.
Bauer (5-6, 3.41 ERA) believes he’s still not in the same form he was last season, when he finished 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA.
“I had some mechanical stuff that was out of whack,” Bauer said to MLB.com. “Couldn’t figure out what it was. Very minute. Really wasn’t able to move the way that I needed to move. Still not.
“… Once I saw and was able to identify what was going on and why, I can compensate around that. I train myself. I train the adjustments in the offseason. I can still go out there and compete and give what I have, and be happy to see the results match how I pitched.”
Cleveland lost 4-2 to the Texas Rangers on Thursday, after winning five of the previous six games.
Tigers ace Matthew Boyd (5-5, 3.35 ERA) has won just one of his last seven starts. In his last outing on June 13, he lasted just four-plus innings and gave up five runs (four earned) in a 7-3 loss at Kansas City.
He’s 2-3 with a 2.90 ERA against the Indians in nine career appearances (eight starts).
The Tigers had Thursday off after squandering a 7-1 lead in an 8-7 loss at Pittsburgh the previous night.
One bright spot was a three-hit game from right fielder Nicholas Castellanos. He has a hit in 14 of his last 15 games, but that was the first multi-hit game during that span.
He’s been putting in extra work with batting coach Lloyd McClendon.
“His hands have been real high, right by his ear,” manager Ron Gardenhire said of Castellanos. “Just trying to get him in a better hitting position from the start. I know that was something Lloyd talked to him about, just in casual conversation.”
–Field Level Media