Bauer struggles again, Indians lose to Athletics 5-3

The Indians are 25-22 this season

James Rapien
May 21, 2019 - 9:32 pm
May 21, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (47) pitches in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Trevor Bauer’s control issues continued on Tuesday night, as the Indians’ ace struggled for a fifth consecutive start. Oakland beat Cleveland for the second night in a row, picking up a 5-3 win. The Athletics have won five-straight games.

Bauer allowed four runs and four hits in six innings, which doesn’t look bad on the surface, but his 123 pitches were a season-high. He struggled with his command all night long. He walked four and hit three batters. His ERA rose to 3.95 on the season.

"The command of my fastball and curveball were pretty good,” Bauer said. “My slider and cutter are really letting me down right now. Those are two pitches I rely on heavily.

“It’s hard when you can’t throw half of your arsenal anywhere close to the spot you’re trying to throw it to. Overall, I thought my stuff was really good tonight. I gave up four hits. A curveball on the black (Matt Olson in the third inning) goes for a bloop single, and five pitches later a fastball at the letters (Mark Canha) goes for a homer. That’s just kind of the way things are going for me right now.”

The Indians got off to a great start. Bauer retired the side in order in the first inning and Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff home run to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead. It was the 14th leadoff homer of Lindor’s career, which is third in Indians’ history behind Grady Sizemore (22) and Kenny Lofton (18).

Things went downhill from there, as Bauer issued three walks and hit a batter in the second inning. Oakland tied it without getting a hit and they never looked back. Mark Canha's two-run homer off of Bauer in the third inning to give Oakland a 3-1 lead. Canha was pinch hitting for Khris Davis, who left with a hip injury. 

The Indians’ comeback attempt fell short for a second consecutive night. Carlos Santana hit his eighth home run of the season to cut Oakland’s lead to 3-2 in third inning. The Athletics tacked on a run in the fourth, but Oscar Mercado answered with an RBI-double in the fourth inning to make it 4-3. He has a hit in four straight games.

The Indians didn’t get any closer than that. Jurickson Profar hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to extend Oakland’s lead to 5-3.

Bauer's Struggles – Bauer has a 7.04 ERA, with 12 walks, four hit batters and 25 strikeouts in his last four starts. He doesn’t look like the pitcher we saw at the start of the season. Bauer posted a 2.45 ERA in his first seven starts of the year.

“Hitters go through periods and pitchers do too,” manager Terry Francona said. “His stuff is coming out terrific. I know Carl (Willis) was talking to him today during the game. They’ll put their heads together on the side day and try and work on things they need to work on." 

Injury Update – Catcher Roberto Perez left the game with a head injury. Kevin Plawecki replaced him in the fifth inning. Francona revealed Perez was diagnosed with a concussion after he was hit by a foul ball in the facemask. MLB rules allow the Indians to place him on the seven day injured list. Perez will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, before they make a decision. 

Up Next – Jefry Rodriguez will take the mound for the Indians on Wednesday afternoon. He enters with a 3.45 ERA and a 1-3 record on the season. Frankie Montas is on the mound for Oakland. He’s 5-2 on the season with a 2.67 ERA.