CLEVELAND -- Due to injuries, the Cleveland Indians had depth issues in their starting rotation in the month of August, but veteran right-hander Trevor Bauer stepped up in a big way and helped the team to five wins in his six starts.
In the month of August, Bauer posted a 5-0 record and a 2.30 earned run average in seven appearances, including six starts. Over 39.0 innings of work, Bauer allowed 10 earned runs and nine walks against 40 strikeouts.
Bauer earned two wins each over the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the top two teams in the AL East Division, as well as one against the Royals, who are in pursuit of the Indians in the Central Division standings.
“He’s held his stuff the whole year real well,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
“I just think the majority of it has been fastball command and working ahead. He didn’t do that. You look up and at one point, it was 28 strikes and 28 balls, a lot of deep counts and lead-off walks, but he fought and he competed and gave us a chance to win a game.”
With Bauer on the mound, the Indians earned their sixth straight victory with a 2-1 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite surrendering four walks, Bauer (14-8) allowed just four hits and one earned run over six-plus innings of work. He struck out four Yankees hitters, and on the way to his 14th victory of the year, lowered his earned run average to 4.46.
“It was a struggle,” Bauer said. “I got on a little bit of a roll there in the fourth and the fifth. I finally started being able to be aggressive in the strike zone. Day games are always kind of weird. Sometimes, your body doesn’t wake up. Sometimes, they just have a different feel, but I definitely have to be able to battle through it and get the team through six, save the bullpen a little bit and get a win.”
Francona added, “He’ll probably say it wasn’t his best stuff, but he fought like crazy, which was good, and he ends up giving up one. He gets us to a point in the game where we can go to our bullpen and not try to get too much. Shaw and Cody were tremendous.”
Although Bauer did not have his best stuff against the Yankees, he fought his way to get the game into the hands of the bullpen, who helped him earn a team-leading 14th win of the season.
“That’s great,” Bauer said. “We have confidence in everyone down there.
“Obviously, we try to give them as many innings as possible so they don’t get worn out, but when they do come into the game, it’s a nice feeling. As a starter, I’m very confident that they’re going to shut it down and keep it right where it’s at, give the offense time to come back or preserve the lead.”