CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians salvaged the finale of a miserable opening homestand.
Trevor Bauer won consecutive starts for the first time in his three-plus seasons in the major leagues, helping Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 Wednesday to stop a four-game losing streak.
"It’s huge for team morale," Bauer said after the Indians’ first home victory this year. "We had a rough homestand, but we battled through today."
Cleveland lost its first four home games and lost three players to injuries. Left fielder Michael Brantley missed the final four games with a sore back, and catcher Yan Gomes sprained his right knee, an injury likely to sideline him for two months. Pitcher Carlos Carrasco sustained a bruised jaw after being hit in the face with a line drive Tuesday.
Bauer (2-0), who pitched six hitless innings against Houston in his first start this season, held the White Sox without a hit until Jose Abreu singled leading off the fourth. Chicago loaded the bases with one out, but J.B. Shuck fouled out and Geovany Soto struck out.
Making his 36th big league start, Bauer gave up two runs, four hits and four walks in six innings with eight strikeouts.
"I’m trying to stay focused on attacking hitters and going after the strike zone," Bauer said. "Overall it was a little bit of a struggle, but I’m happy with the results."
Manager Terry Francona is impressed Bauer is finally showing the consistency the Indians have been waiting to see since acquiring him from Arizona before the 2013 season.
"He’s got good stuff," Francona said. "He has all the pitches. I’m most impressed by the fact he’s not giving up runs."
Cody Allen walked pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio leading off the ninth and hit Micah Johnson with a pitch. Adam Eaton struck out trying to sacrifice, Melky Cabrera hit into a forceout and Allen struck out Abreu for his second save.
Cleveland never led while getting swept by Detroit in a three-game series and trailed throughout Tuesday’s loss to the White Sox.
"It was important for us to win, because we hadn’t won yet," Francona said.
John Danks (0-2) gave up four runs — three earned — and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. Chicago had won its previous three games.
Michael Bourn’s third-inning groundout gave Cleveland its first lead since last Thursday against Houston. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run double in the fourth and Carlos Santana added an RBI single in the fifth.
Chicago got a pair of runs in the sixth on Alexei Ramirez’s RBI groundout and Shuck’s run-scoring single.
Francona thinks what happens early in the season is magnified whether the results are positive or negative.
"That’s why you work so hard in spring training regardless of what your start is, you can handle what’s thrown at you and find way to win," he said. "It’s nice to come out of the gate 6-0, but you don’t always do that."
Francona said Carrasco will make his next start Monday at the White Sox. The Indians need a starter Sunday in Minnesota. RHP Zach McAllister is a possibility.
White Sox: RHP Jake Petricka (right forearm strain) is on the 15-day DL but could rejoin the club in Detroit this weekend.
Indians: It is not clear when Brantley will return to the lineup. He has played in only two games and is batting .125.
White Sox: RHP Jeff Samardzija will face Tigers LHP David Price in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Comerica Park. Samardzija, who is winless with a 6.23 ERA in two starts, has not pitched against Detroit in eight big league seasons.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber will start on five days’ rest Friday in Minnesota. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner got his 14th career double-digit strikeout game in his last start but didn’t figure in the decision against the Tigers.