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Bauer looking for answers after tough start

Right-hander has allowed 10 homers over last six outings

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer had a dictionary on hand following Thursday's 8-1 series-opening loss to the White Sox.

"The definition of insanity is you try the same thing over and over and expect different result," Bauer said. "I'm not insane, so clearly there's some adjustments to be made."

The right-hander allowed six earned runs in six innings, including three homers. The trio of long balls brings his count to 10 allowed over his last six starts. In that time, the 24-year-old owns a 6.45 ERA, and the Indians are 1-5 in those games.

"I try to contribute to the team's success and to the team having a chance to win and I'm not doing that right now," Bauer said. "And that's the worst part about it."

The sudden inundation of home runs is an issue that's puzzled the right-hander. Bauer typically has a remedy for each individual mechanical flaw, an answer for every question. But both he and pitching coach Mickey Callaway are left without an immediate explanation for the influx of long flies.

"I haven't seen anything specifically that's been going on," Callaway said. "I don't know. It's weird."

One thing Bauer does know is that his struggles are rooted in right-handed batters. Six of the last 10 home runs he's allowed have come against same-handed batters. In that six-start stretch, righties have tagged Bauer for an .875 OPS.

"Righties kill me," Bauer said. "For whatever reason I can't get righties out and it [stinks] because you'd figure, right-on-right, that's usually an advantage. And it's not for me."

Callaway says Bauer has had trouble establishing the inner half of the plate against his same-handed foes.

"He can't get it in where he wants it consistently," Callaway said. "He's yanking balls. We've been talking about that a lot in-between, just about his approach and how he wants to get those righties out. He feels comfortable doing it to lefties and he just can't quite get it done to righties."

The absence of Bauer's perceived advantage -- the right-on-right matchup -- might be enough to drive a man insane. Thankfully, Bauer knows he isn't that, so something soon will change.

"I'll look at it, try to find an answer and fix it," Bauer said. "And that's where I'm at right now."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for
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