Indians fall 6-0 in Trevor Bauer's debut
Bauer walks seven in five innings as Indians struggle
St. Petersburg, FL - While Cleveland's bats stayed quiet for the second straight night, top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer walked the first four Tampa Bay hitters to open the game as the Rays defeated the Indians 6-0.
Bauer (0-1, 5.40) struggled with his fastball command through five innings of work, walking seven batters while allowing just two hits. He did not surrender a hit until the fourth inning, when Jose Molina hit a one-out single. Kelly Johnson, Tampa Bay's number nine hitter, followed with a two-run home run just inside the right field foul pole. Bauer retired the side in order in the fifth to finish his first start of the season.
Bauer become the first pitcher to bat in an American League game since 1999 in the fifth inning after designated hitter Carlos Santana replaced Lou Marson behind the plate. Marson suffered a cervical (neck) strain during a home plate collision with Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the fourth. Bauer failed to lay down a bunt with a runner at first, striking out on three straight pitches.
New bullpen addition Matt Albers relieved Bauer in the sixth inning and allowed a run in his second straight appearance. Cody Allen followed with two shaky innings of relief, allowing two runs along with four hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Allen has allowed three runs in his first three innings of work this season.
All three Indians pitchers managed to work into, and out of bases-loaded jams.
Tribe bats picked up just five hits against three Tampa Bay pitchers as they failed to score for the second straight game. Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, and Nick Swisher combined to go 2-for-15 with three strikeouts and a walk in the top four slots of the lineup.
The Indians threatened in the top of the second after Swisher advanced to third base on a single by Santana to right. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall ended the scoring opportunity with an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Cleveland threatened again in the third after right fielder Ryan Raburn opened the inning with a single and Marson followed with a walk. Raburn advanced to third on a force out bunt by Bourn. Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb retired the next two hitters to work out of the jam.
Cobb (1-0, 0.00) kept the Indians lineup in check over seven and one-third innings, working around four hits and three walks while striking out six. Joel Peralta retired the final two hitters in the eighth via foul out.
After allowing a leadoff single to Kipnis in the top of the ninth, Cesar Ramos retired the next three Cleveland batters to end the game.
The Indians will wrap up their road trip Sunday at 1:40 p.m. as right-hander Justin Masterson (1-0, 1.17) will face reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price (0-0, 1.50). Cleveland will return home after the game for their home opener against the New York Yankees on Monday.
Notes: Trevor Bauer was the first Cleveland starter to open a game with four walks since Bartolo Colon did so on June 29, 2000 against the Kansas City Royals. … Bauer tied San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum for the most walks in a start this season (7). … Cleveland did not get shut out until game 58 of 2012, but has now been blanked twice in the opening five games of 2013.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.