Bauer strikes out 11 as Indians defeat Tigers 4-1

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

By STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Trevor Bauer is piling up the strikeouts. And, the Cleveland Indians are piling up the wins.
Bauer (7-5) struck out 11 over 6 1/3 innings to beat Detroit for the fourth time this season, leading Cleveland past the Tigers 4-1 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win overall.
The right-hander recorded his seventh double-figure strikeout game of the season, including five of his last six starts. Bauer has struck out 140 this season and is tied for the AL lead with Boston’s Chris Sale.
“I definitely take pride in it,” Bauer said. “It’s what I enjoy doing most, punching guys out.”
Bauer’s consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts was interrupted Monday by a rain delay after he struck out eight in seven innings against the Chicago White Sox. He threw 100 pitches and didn’t return after the delay.
“I wish it hadn’t rained last game,” he said. “It would have been six in a row, but I’ll start a new streak this time.”
Bauer allowed a run in the second inning on a wild pitch and was pulled after Dixon Machado’s one-out single in the seventh. He’s 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four starts against the Tigers.
“He’s got quality pitches across the board,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That’s part of what’s making him so good.”
Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff homer in the fifth, and Jose Ramirez — who reached base in his 30th consecutive game — and Edwin Encarnacion had RBI singles in a three-run first.
Cody Allen struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.
Francisco Liriano (3-3), making his first start in a month, allowed three runs — two earned — in four innings. The left-hander, who strained his right hamstring against the White Sox on May 26, threw 40 pitches in the first.
“He was rushing and after the first inning we told him you got to slow down,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Just make your pitches and don’t overthrow the ball. We had a chance to get out of there and we cost him some extra pitches in the first.”
Detroit lost its fourth straight and committed three errors. Catcher James McCann dropped a throw from center field that allowed a run to score in the first.
Bauer struck out the game’s first two hitters, but a walk, single and a hit by pitch loaded the bases. McCann struck out, ending the 28-pitch inning. Bauer allowed five hits, walked two, hit two batters and threw 112 pitches.
Cleveland’s first consisted of four hits, two walks, two wild pitches and McCann’s error. Ramirez singled in the first to score Lindor. Encarnacion followed with another single for a 2-0 lead.
Following a wild pitch, Brandon Guyer singled to center. Encarnacion would have been out by 10 feet, but scored on a slide when McCann couldn’t hang on to Leyonis Martin’s throw.
Liriano made his first start since straining his right hamstring against the Chicago White Sox on May 26.
Oliver Perez retired the final two batters in the seventh and Neil Ramirez worked a scoreless eighth.
CAUTIOUS APPROACH
The Indians aren’t going to rush left-hander Andrew Miller to come back from his sore right knee, an injury that has had him on the disabled list since May 26. He won’t throw off a mound for 10 days and there’s no timetable for his return.
“We saw the load he carried a couple years ago,” Francona said. “For us to get where we want to go, and have the best chance to do that, he’s going to carry a big load. So we feel like being patient is the best chance to get there.”
BUT WHO’S COUNTING?
The first inning lasted 36 minutes and included five hits, three walks, a hit batter, two wild pitches, an error, nine baserunners and a combined 68 pitches.
QUICK CHANGE
Detroit started the week with a five-game winning streak, but lost twice in Cincinnati and has dropped the first two games of this series.
“You look at Cincinnati, they’re hot,” Gardenhire said. “We come in here and this team is hot. It’s all part of the schedule. Right now, we are scuffling offensively and it all kind of molds together.”
TRAINER’S ROOM
Tigers: RHP Johnny Barbato (rotator cuff tendinitis) is on the 10-day disabled list. He allowed five runs in one-third of an inning Friday.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (bruised elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. He was struck on the elbow by a line drive hit by Minnesota’s Joe Mauer on June 16.
UP NEXT
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (4-5, 3.63 ERA) is 1-2 with a 1.78 ERA in six career appearances — five starts — against Cleveland.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (3-1, 5.40) will make his fifth career start for Cleveland.
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