Trevor Bauer made plenty of quality pitches Tarvarius Moore Jersey , but it was Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez who made the best throw of the night.
Bauer pitched effectively into the eighth inning as the Indians beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.
With the Royals trailing by one in the eighth, Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff double before Perez nabbed him attempting to steal third.
”It was a huge play,” Bauer said.
Merrifield, the 2017 AL stolen base champion, said he got a good jump
”They executed. I executed,” Merrifield said. ”They got me this time. It was the right play. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it again.”
Perez gave credit to Bauer.
”He was thinking he was going to try and steal,” Perez said. ”He called fastball up and in and I thought that was the game right there. That was on Bauer. He hit me right in the chest and I made a strong throw, and (Jose) Ramirez made a good tag on him. I was fired up.”
Michael Brantley had an early RBI double and the Indians scored all their runs in the first three innings on only one hit. Bauer struck out eight and walked one over 7 2/3 innings.
The plummeting Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21. They have scored four or fewer runs in 25 of their past 26 games and are barely ahead of Baltimore for the worst record in the majors.
After winning on grand slams by Francisco Lindor and Yan Gomes the previous two nights, the Indians managed only four hits – two in the ninth inning.
Bauer (8-6) has struck out eight or more in eight consecutive starts. He allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and is 3-1 in his past four starts.
”It was frustrating in a lot of ways and I was happy the team won,” Bauer said. ”I made some good pitches and gave up some weak hits. I had too many two-strike pitches put into play. I need to clean that up.”
Cody Allen worked the ninth to earn his 18th save in 19 chances. It was his 140th career save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman for the club record.
Lindor walked to start the game, stole second and scored on Brantley’s double. Brantley went to third on Ramirez’s flyout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.
The Indians manufactured a run without a hit in the second. Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin opened the inning with walks. Perez advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Greg Allen delivered a sacrifice fly.
Kansas City used a double steal to create a run in the second. Alex Gordon, who was hit by a pitch Kentavius Street Jersey , and Hunter Dozier, who reached on an infield single, were at the corners with two outs. They pulled off a successful double steal, with Gordon scoring. It was Dozier’s first career steal.
The last Royals player to steal home was Alex Rios on July 20, 2015, against Pittsburgh, also as part of a double steal.
Alcides Escobar singled in the Kansas City fifth and advanced to third on Drew Butera’s one-out single. Escobar scored on Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.
Royals starter Trevor Oaks (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Ian Kennedy’s spot in the rotation, was removed after four innings and 73 pitches. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks.
”The leadoff walks and not having good command, just really frustrating when I’ve walked like one or two guys an outing and now I’m back to four,” Oaks said.
Oaks had a 0.62 ERA in his last seven Triple-A starts. Kennedy went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
THE HOT CORNER
Dozier made his first big league start at third base. Dozier played 401 games at third, starting 281, in the Royals’ minor league system. He had started 35 games at first base, two in right field and two as the DH this season.
Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (bruised left knee) did not play after fouling a pitch off his leg in the ninth inning Tuesday. X-rays were negative. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday. … LHP Tyler Olson (shoulder strain) threw 17 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on a rehab assignment. He retired two batters, walked one, struck out one and did not allow a hit.
Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. ”It’s not serious at all,” manager Ned Yost said. ”He came in today and still felt it a little bit. With an off day tomorrow Laken Tomlinson Jersey , there’s no sense in pushing it.” … OF Bubba Starling (oblique strain) was sent to the rookie-level Arizona League to begin a rehab assignment. Starling, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has not played since May 10 with Triple-A Omaha.
Indians: Open a homestand Friday against the Athletics with RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) starting. Oakland will counter with RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46).
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56) starts Friday night against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41) gets the ball for Boston.
Another strong effort from Anibal Sanchez has the first-place Atlanta Braves facing a sudden surplus of starting pitchers.
Sanchez allowed only four hits in seven scoreless innings, Ender Inciarte homered and scored two runs and the Braves, helped by a strange replay ruling, beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Thursday night.
The Braves (40-28) moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 2013 season on top of the NL East. They haven’t been back to the playoffs since 2013, but now they’re again leading the division.
Sanchez has won two straight starts. With the emergence of rookie Mike Soroka and the expected return of Julio Teheran from the DL this weekend, Braves manager Brian Snitker could soon face difficult decisions in his rotation.
”We’ve got a good problem because we’ve got more starters than we can probably use right now,” Snitker said. ”That’s something that not a lot of teams can say. So it’s going to be some tough decisions going forward.”
Sanchez (3-0) did not walk a batter as he earned his first win in six career starts against San Diego. The 34-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.93 in seven games, including six starts. He signed with Atlanta in spring training following his release from Minnesota.
”He’s been a man on a mission,” catcher Tyler Flowers said.
Sanchez outpitched Tyson Ross (5-4), who allowed only three hits and three runs in six-plus innings.
Ozzie Albies added a run-scoring double for Atlanta. Inciarte, who singled and scored in the third George Kittle Jersey , had two hits.
Atlanta led 3-0 before Eric Hosmer’s double off Dan Winkler in the eighth drove in Jose Pirela and Cory Spangenberg, cutting the lead to one run.
Freddie Freeman doubled and scored on Adam Cimber’s throwing error on Flowers’ grounder in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring.
Arodys Vizcaino pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
The Padres were upset a video review affirmed the ruling from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger that Flowers was hit by a pitch from Sanchez in the seventh. The review lasted 2 minutes, 39 seconds.
Flowers said he told Ripperger he didn’t think he was hit by the pitch.
”The more I thought about it sitting there, and then seeing the replay, I know it hit something,” Flowers said. ”It might have been me. I don’t know. I wear so many guards and stuff, it might have been one of those.”
TV replays seemed to show the ball didn’t hit Flowers or his bat.
San Diego manager Andy Green said the call changed the game because Flowers scored on Inciarte’s groundout against Robbie Erlin.
”In those moments as a manager I’m not even sure why you have replay,” Green said. ”I mean, it’s blatantly obvious it didn’t hit him. There’s no situation where that hit him and it changed the game. … Every single way you look at that one they blew it and that cost us.”
Inciarte pulled a pitch from Ross over the first level of right-field seats and into the open doors of a restaurant in the fifth. It was Inciarte’s fifth homer and his first since May 15.
Sanchez escaped sixth-inning trouble after the Padres had runners on first and third with one out, following a double by A.J. Ellis and an infield single by Pirela. Spangenberg and Hosmer ended the inning with infield popups.
Teheran (right thumb contusion) is on track to come off the DL and start on Sunday after throwing a bullpen session with no problems. Teheran has been out since June 5. … Braves OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (left knee sprain) hit before the game. He is expected to run the bases at a moderate pace on Friday and then give the knee a more strenuous test on Saturday.
The Padres fell to 5-18 in series openers this season, the worst mark in the National League. Despite those poor starts, San Diego has won five straight series.
Ross went four innings without a walk before putting Albies on base with two outs in the fifth. It ended a stretch of 32 innings without a walk for San Diego pitchers, matching the longest streak in franchise history from July 28-31, 1971.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard will start Friday night’s second game of the series. He is 4-2 with a 3.04 ERA in his last seven starts.
Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy was announced as Friday night’s starter.
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