Bauer goes distance as Indians beat Rays

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[June 23, 2016]  CLEVELAND -- For the Cleveland Indians, success starts with their starting pitching, and their starting pitching stopped the Tampa Bay Rays cold.

Trevor Bauer pitched a three-hitter for his second career complete game, and Carlos Santana had two hits and two RBIs as the Indians completed a three-game sweep with a 6-1 win over the Rays on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

The Indians, who also got a two-run home run from Jason Kipnis, have won six games in a row and 11 in a row at home. Tampa Bay lost its seventh in a row.

Bauer (5-2) struck out 10 and walked one in pitching the second consecutive three-hit complete game by an Indians pitcher. Corey Kluber pitched a three-hit 6-0 shutout on Tuesday.

"The same script as last night. Their guy pitched really well and we couldn't get anything going," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said after Bauer's three-hitter Wednesday.

The Indians' three starters in the series, Bauer, Kluber and Josh Tomlin combined for a 1.44 ERA while holding Tampa Bay hitters to a .129 batting average.

"The potential on this staff is really high, and when we get on a roll like this it's a lot of fun to watch," Bauer said.

Bauer held Tampa Bay scoreless on one hit through the first six innings, retiring 15 men in a row at one point as Cleveland took a 4-0 lead.

"He's pounding the strike zone with really good stuff, and changing speeds. It's fun to watch," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona.

"He has a twelve-to-six curveball that, when he's right, is as good as anyone in baseball," Cash said. "It looks like a high fastball, then drops into the zone."

Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer (4-10) pitched six innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks. He fanned five.

Archer was plagued by another bad first inning, which has been a problem for him this season. He gave up three runs in the first inning, and one run in his last five innings.

In his 16 starts, Archer has a 10.69 first-inning ERA and a 3.55 ERA in the remaining frames.

"He continues to put himself in a hole, and the way we're playing now, and the caliber of the team we're playing in Cleveland, it's tough to come back," Cash said.

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The Rays' only run came in the seventh. With Brad Miller at third and Logan Morrison at second and two outs, Corey Dickerson hit a sharp ground ball into the hole on the left side. Shortstop Francisco Lindor made a diving stop. Lindor was unable to throw out Dickerson at first, but Lindor instead threw to third baseman Juan Uribe, who tagged out Morrison, who rounded the bag too far to get back safely. Miller scored on the play, credited as a Dickerson single.

"That was a phenomenal play by Lindor. Sometimes you've just got to tip your cap," Cash said.

The Indians countered with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Santana and a sacrifice fly by Lindor off reliever Matt Andriese.

Archer's first inning troubles started when he walked Santana, gave up a two-run homer to Kipnis, then walked Lindor, who later scored on a single by Jose Ramirez to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.

 

An RBI double by Santana in the fourth inning made it 4-0, and Bauer took it from there.

"I just tried to execute my pitches and throw it as hard as I can to a spot," he said.

NOTES: Indians OF Abraham Almonte began a rehab assignment Wednesday night with Triple-A Columbus. Almonte was suspended for the first 80 games of the season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug prior to the start of the campaign. Almonte is eligible to be play in minor league games. The earliest he could be activated by the Indians is July 3. ... Cleveland 3B Juan Uribe was 0-for-4, snapping his streak of having hit home runs in each of the last four games. The Indians' record for most consecutive games with a home run is seven, by Jim Thome in 2002. ... Rays RHP Chris Archer came into his start Wednesday without hitting a batter since July 3, 2015. Archer's streak of 31 consecutive starts without a hit batter is second in Rays' history to James Shields, who went 38 starts from May 3, 2009 to May 25, 2010. ... Rays 3B Evan Longoria has nine home runs in June, tying him with San Diego's Wil Myers for the most in the majors this month.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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