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Bauer pitches 7 two-hit innings in walk-off loss

@goodforball
May 11, 2019

OAKLAND -- Trevor Bauer gave the Cleveland Indians the durability they sorely needed from him on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. Bauer also provided the stability every starter seeks. He kept the score close during his seven-inning stint, enabling the Indians to pull even with a two-out, ninth-inning run.

OAKLAND -- Trevor Bauer gave the Cleveland Indians the durability they sorely needed from him on Saturday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.

Bauer also provided the stability every starter seeks. He kept the score close during his seven-inning stint, enabling the Indians to pull even with a two-out, ninth-inning run. However, Cleveland ultimately lost, 3-2, as Ramón Laureano blooped a walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the ninth.

Box score

Matt Olson walked to christen the winning rally against right-hander A.J. Cole, freshly promoted from Triple-A Columbus. Kendrys Morales followed with a single. After Stephen Piscotty's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Laureano lifted a fly ball to short-right field, where Jordan Luplow slipped and fell as he pursued the ball -- which plummeted to the grass untouched. Olson scored the deciding run. Since Cleveland’s infield was playing shallow in hopes of apprehending Olson at home plate on a ground ball, the play belonged to Luplow.

“You know that on the road that it’s hard,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “If you make a mistake, you end up going home. That’s two nights in a row and it hurts. But I’m glad we came back.”

Cleveland’s latest heartbreaker unfolded less than 24 hours after Oakland’s 4-3, 12-inning triumph Friday night in which Francona used seven of his eight relievers. Thus, it was up to Bauer to give the bullpen a break.

Bauer accomplished his task admirably. He matched a season high with 10 strikeouts and surrendered just two hits. Asked about the unspoken mandate for him to work into the late innings, the right-hander responded with nonchalance.

“Have you seen my normal pitch counts? I figure I’ll go out there and throw 120, 140 or whatever,” Bauer said. “It’s not like my stuff falls off at all.” Bauer totaled 122 pitches, only 12 more than his per-game average before Saturday, and maintained enough strength to strike out Laureano with a 95 mph fastball in his final inning.

Moreover, both runs off Bauer were unearned.

Marcus Semien reached base safely on third baseman José Ramírez's throwing error to open Oakland’s first inning. Semien stole second base and scored on a single by Matt Chapman, whose home run off reliever Brad Hand ended Friday’s marathon.

Leonys Martin hit his sixth home run of the year off A’s right-hander Aaron Brooks, temporarily tying the score in the fifth inning.

But the A’s reclaimed the lead during their half of the fifth in entertaining fashion. Nick Hundley lined a 1-1 fastball from Bauer off the left-field wall. Cleveland left fielder Jake Bauers grabbed the ball, which had caromed toward the infield, and flung a two-hop throw past third base as Hundley was arriving with a slide. Hundley quickly righted himself and scored as the ball bounced away from Ramirez.

The error on the play was charged to Bauers. But other bystanders felt at least partially responsible, including Bauer. He believed that he could have pounced on the ball in time to prevent Hundley from scoring.

“That’s not a winning play on my part,” Bauer said. “I had plenty of time, seeing the way the ball was rolling back toward the infield. I was kind of checking the runner and seeing we didn’t get him [at third base], and then the ball went by me and I was like, ‘Oh, [heck].’”

Martin excelled again for Cleveland in the ninth inning. He drilled a game-tying RBI single off Oakland closer Blake Treinen, who allowed three hits and stranded runners on second and third.

“That guy’s got some of the best stuff in the league,” Francona said of Treinen. “We stayed the other way on him and gave ourselves a chance.”

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.