DETROIT (AP) — Trevor Bauer has accomplished a lot of things in his career, but there was one box he wasn’t able to check off until Sunday in Detroit.
Bauer pitched his first shutout as a pro, ending the longest winless streak of his career as the Cleveland Indians beat the Tigers 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Bauer (5-6) gave up four hits, struck out eight and walked none. This was his 224th start since being drafted out of UCLA, including 166 in the majors.
“I’m only disappointed that my strikeouts lagged a little,” he said. “If you pitch a complete game with 10 strikeouts and no walks, you’re really getting into rarified air.”
“I have some mechanical stuff that was out of whack, but I was able to compensate and go out there and get those results,” he said.
The 28-year-old righty had been 0-5 in his previous eight starts before dominating the Tigers in his third career complete game.
“Any time you go out there and throw nine innings without giving up a run, you are doing a lot of things right,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He got out of an early jam when it was still 1-0 and then we got him some runs and he settled in.”
Harold Castro hit a leadoff triple in the second, but Bauer stranded him with a popup, a groundball and a strikeout.
“He was a monster out there,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s such a fierce competitor and he went out there and spun the ball against us. When he needed a fastball, he always had it.”
The Tigers have lost 17 of 19 at home
Gardenhire met with his players after the game, and made it clear he wasn’t happy with their lethargic play on Sunday.
“I’m not happy. I respect the hell out of these guys, and I know the losing is beating them down, but it doesn’t take any effort to run out a pop fly,” he said. “You owe that much to the guys on the bench and the fans in the stands.”
Rookie Oscar Mercado drove in four runs and Jason Kipnis homered and drove in three. The Indians are 18-7 against Detroit since the beginning of last season and outscored them 25-6 in this set at Comerica Park.
“The offense has been rolling for a little while now,” Kipnis said. “We have some pride in what we’re doing and that’s coming together right now. I’m excited to see where we go from here.”
Spencer Turnbull (3-6) allowed a season-high six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in five innings.
“Like everyone, he’s a little beat up right now and they really made him work,” Gardenhire said. “They were fouling off a lot of tough pitches and when he made a mistake, they hit it.”
Detroit is 7-22 overall since May 13.
“There are so many things we need to get better at, and the first thing is giving everything we’ve got every day,” first baseman/catcher John Hicks said. “This is frustrating and that’s going to boil over at times, but we’ve got to keep playing hard and turn this around.”
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Carlos Santana and Kipnis. Cleveland added three more in the third when Francisco Lindor doubled and scored on Mercado’s hit-and-run infield single before Kipnis homered.
Mercado’s two-run single gave the Indians a 6-0 lead in the fourth and he added an RBI double in the sixth.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger is scheduled to start Monday in Texas. He has been on the injured list since April 8 with an upper-back strain.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, who is limited to designated hitter duties due to knee problems, had a regularly scheduled day off on Sunday.
BEATING UP ON THE TIGERS
Mercado became the fourth Indians player to drive it at least four runs in a game this season. Two of them were in the weekend series, as Jake Bauers did it on Friday. The Indians also had the ninth cycle in franchise history (Bauers) and their first straight steal of home since 2005 (Leonys Martin) during the series.
WEATHER CHANGES PLANS
The game started on time, but the heavy morning rain did lead to the odd sight of the Indians bullpen working hard while Bauer was pitching the first inning. Adam Plutko, scheduled to start Wednesday in Texas, had to move his bullpen session to the beginning of the game.
Indians: Cleveland travels to Texas for a three-game series starting on Monday. Clevinger (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will return to face Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.40) of the Rangers.
Tigers: Detroit will be off on Monday while traveling to Pittsburgh for a two-game visit. Daniel Norris (2-5, 4.52) is scheduled to pitch the opener for the Tigers, while the Pirates haven’t announced a starter.