Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer commanded the strike zone in Wednesday's doubleheader against San Diego.
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians starting pitchers Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer commanded the strike zone in both ends of the Tribe's doubleheader against the San Diego Padres at Progressive Field Wednesday.
After McAllister struck out seven hitters, allowed no walks and spread out five hits in 7.2 innings of work in a 2-0 win over the Padres in game one, Bauer came out and struck out a career-high eight hitters in the 2-1 loss to San Diego.
"I thought he was really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Bauer. "He threw all his pitches. The first time through the order, he worked ahead. The second time through the order, he fell behind a few times, but he pitched himself back into counts. With his stuff, the way he's trying to attack the zone, his progress is going to come quick.
"There's a lot of encouraging things."
Bauer allowed only six base runners, four via hits and two courtesy of walks, and just one of his two runs given up were earned. Of his 99 pitches thrown, 65 were in the strike zone.
"It felt good to pitch well and give the team a chance to win," Bauer said. "I don't look at that as the culmination of what I've been working on. It was another start along the process.
"I definitely feel comfortable up here. I think, mostly, that started in spring training, though, being able to repeat spring training with a team. It's the first time I've been able to do that. I got to know the personalities of all the guys. That's really what helps me feel comfortable."
In the first inning, Bauer allowed just one run on one hit despite the first two batters of the game reaching second and third with no outs. Then, after giving up a run in the sixth, he shut the door on the Padres with the bases loaded by striking out Tommy Medica for the final out of the inning.
McAllister said he "felt good" and was in a groove early against the Padres.
"I felt good coming out of the bullpen and was pretty much able to get ahead of hitters," McAllister said. "They were aggressive, so that was in my advantage as well.
"We knew that going in that they were going to be aggressive. If you throw a well-located pitch, then, the majority of the time, you're going to be successful. They're going to get their hits, but if you execute a good pitch, you're more likely to get quick outs.
"With an aggressive team, if you're falling behind, that works right in their favor because they know you're probably going to be throwing the heat and they can jump right on it, so if you get ahead and you're able to mix a little bit, that definitely helps out."
For his efforts, McAllister was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout with two outs in the top of the eighth inning.
"It was nice," McAllister said. "It was definitely nice. It's definitely a good feeling to know that the fans have your back and they did today and it was great.
"I was just able to have a good mix today and be aggressive in the strike zone, and had some good defensive plays behind me that really helped me out."
McAllister said it was good to throw well, especially with the way the starting rotation struggled through the first week of the season.
"Besides (Justin) Masterson the first go-through, it wasn't good for any of us," McAllister said. "We battled. We competed, but at the same time, we know we have to do a better job than what we did that first go-around. We just try to know what you did well in those games, know what you didn't do well, work on it between bullpens and prepare yourself. I feel we all prepared pretty well for our starts and we're always out there rooting for each other.
"In that regard, everyone's competitive and wants to do better than the guy in front of them. It's a friendly competition, and I think every one of us wants to go out there and compete and try to do better than the person in front."
According to McAllister, he wanted to keep the momentum going after Corey Kluber pitched well in an 8-6 win over the Padres on Tuesday night.
"(Kluber) threw great the other night," McAllister said. "He was able to get ahead, and when he did fall behind, he made some quality pitches and was able to get some outs. He had a good mix, and I think, if you watched the game, you can pick up on those things as well and try to do what he did. I tried to do that today."