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Bauers (4 hits) part of Tribe's breakout with bats

Indians outfielder's double fuels huge 3rd inning against Royals
July 3, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- With the All-Star break looming, Indians manager Terry Francona’s pregame message to his squad was to finish this week strong. “You don’t cruise into the break,” Francona said. “You go [hard], and then it comes to a crashing halt.” On a hot, sticky evening, the Indians followed

KANSAS CITY -- With the All-Star break looming, Indians manager Terry Francona’s pregame message to his squad was to finish this week strong.

“You don’t cruise into the break,” Francona said. “You go [hard], and then it comes to a crashing halt.”

On a hot, sticky evening, the Indians followed that lesson plan in grand fashion as the offense gave right-hander Trevor Bauer a nice working margin in a 9-5 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Box score

Coming off a 127-pitch outing his previous time out and working through the humidity, Bauer wilted a bit at the end of his six-inning workload. But it all worked out fine for him because Cleveland's offense came through with a solid attack highlighted by Jake Bauers' four-hit night, which matched a career high.

Bauers delivered a two-run double to highlight a five-run third and the Indians built a 7-1 lead before the Royals mounted a comeback. Tyler Naquin also had four hits for Cleveland, which was a career high.

“You’ve got those two guys [Bauers and Naquin] hitting No. 6 and No. 9, and doing some damage for us,” Francona said. “That was good and our baserunning was good. We were aggressive and we needed it.”

Bauers, who finished with three RBIs, attributed the rollercoaster ride of the last four games for Cleveland to the general nature of an up-and-down sport. The Indians were steamrolled by the Orioles, 13-0, on consecutive days, but the Tribe bounced back to win a pitcher’s duel on Sunday. Then, after an off-day, the Indians finally got busy with the bats in the series opener against the Royals.

“All we could do was flush those first two games in Baltimore,” Bauers said. “That’s not who we are.”

The Indians were able to keep the line moving in the third to build a big lead. A string of disciplined plate appearances resulted in a trying inning for Royals starter Jakob Junis.

But Kansas City rallied and was within 7-5 in the seventh when Jorge Soler smashed a liner to center with two on. Oscar Mercado, who had a tough night at the plate, had to lunge at the last second for a catch that prevented the Royals from tying the game.

“It was one of those tough ones right at you,” Mercado said. “It’s a line drive so you don’t know. Usually, those balls die. But [Soler] is a strong man and the ball wasn’t dying. Thankfully, I was able to get a good enough read.”

Said Francona: “Thank goodness that Soler used a three-iron instead of a four-iron. He hit some balls tonight … my goodness.”

Bauers is 6-for-7 in his last two games on the heels of a 1-for-22 slump. Naquin’s four hits came after a 3-for-26 skid.

“We went out there and just took care of business,” Bauers said. “That’s our job every night. Just keep playing the game the right way.”