Trevor Bauer made plenty of quality pitches Jamie Benn Jersey , but it was Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez who made the best throw of the night.
Bauer pitched effectively into the eighth inning as the Indians beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.
With the Royals trailing by one in the eighth, Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff double before Perez nabbed him attempting to steal third.
”It was a huge play,” Bauer said.
Merrifield, the 2017 AL stolen base champion, said he got a good jump
”They executed. I executed,” Merrifield said. ”They got me this time. It was the right play. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it again.”
Perez gave credit to Bauer.
”He was thinking he was going to try and steal,” Perez said. ”He called fastball up and in and I thought that was the game right there. That was on Bauer. He hit me right in the chest and I made a strong throw, and (Jose) Ramirez made a good tag on him. I was fired up.”
Michael Brantley had an early RBI double and the Indians scored all their runs in the first three innings on only one hit. Bauer struck out eight and walked one over 7 2/3 innings.
The plummeting Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21. They have scored four or fewer runs in 25 of their past 26 games and are barely ahead of Baltimore for the worst record in the majors.
After winning on grand slams by Francisco Lindor and Yan Gomes the previous two nights, the Indians managed only four hits – two in the ninth inning.
Bauer (8-6) has struck out eight or more in eight consecutive starts. He allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and is 3-1 in his past four starts.
”It was frustrating in a lot of ways and I was happy the team won,” Bauer said. ”I made some good pitches and gave up some weak hits. I had too many two-strike pitches put into play. I need to clean that up.”
Cody Allen worked the ninth to earn his 18th save in 19 chances. It was his 140th career save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman for the club record.
Lindor walked to start the game Jason Spezza Jersey , stole second and scored on Brantley’s double. Brantley went to third on Ramirez’s flyout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.
The Indians manufactured a run without a hit in the second. Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin opened the inning with walks. Perez advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Greg Allen delivered a sacrifice fly.
Kansas City used a double steal to create a run in the second. Alex Gordon, who was hit by a pitch, and Hunter Dozier, who reached on an infield single, were at the corners with two outs. They pulled off a successful double steal, with Gordon scoring. It was Dozier’s first career steal.
The last Royals player to steal home was Alex Rios on July 20, 2015, against Pittsburgh, also as part of a double steal.
Alcides Escobar singled in the Kansas City fifth and advanced to third on Drew Butera’s one-out single. Escobar scored on Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.
Royals starter Trevor Oaks (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Ian Kennedy’s spot in the rotation, was removed after four innings and 73 pitches. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks.
”The leadoff walks and not having good command, just really frustrating when I’ve walked like one or two guys an outing and now I’m back to four,” Oaks said.
Oaks had a 0.62 ERA in his last seven Triple-A starts. Kennedy went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
THE HOT CORNER
Dozier made his first big league start at third base. Dozier played 401 games at third John Klingberg Jersey , starting 281, in the Royals’ minor league system. He had started 35 games at first base, two in right field and two as the DH this season.
Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (bruised left knee) did not play after fouling a pitch off his leg in the ninth inning Tuesday. X-rays were negative. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday. … LHP Tyler Olson (shoulder strain) threw 17 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on a rehab assignment. He retired two batters, walked one, struck out one and did not allow a hit.
Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. ”It’s not serious at all,” manager Ned Yost said. ”He came in today and still felt it a little bit. With an off day tomorrow, there’s no sense in pushing it.” … OF Bubba Starling (oblique strain) was sent to the rookie-level Arizona League to begin a rehab assignment. Starling, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has not played since May 10 with Triple-A Omaha.
Indians: Open a homestand Friday against the Athletics with RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) starting. Oakland will counter with RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46).
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56) starts Friday night against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41) gets the ball for Boston.
NEW YORK — The Atlanta Braves have fared well against teams with winning records so far this season and this week will test their success.
The first stop for the Braves will be a visit to Yankee Stadium for the opener of a three-game interleague series with the New York Yankees on Monday night.
Atlanta (48-34) heads to New York after completing a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-5 victory on Sunday.
Mike Foltynewicz pitched five one-hit innings and the Braves improved to 30-19 against teams with winning records, which is the best mark in the National League. Only the Yankees Mattias Janmark Jersey , Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are performing better against winning opponents.
Atlanta begins a stretch of 16 of 18 games against teams with winning records. After visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time since June 2012, the Braves visit Milwaukee for four games next weekend and host the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 13-15.
Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer Sunday. He is 9-for-52 (.173) in his last 12 games.
“It’s coming,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters after Freeman hit his 16th homer of the season. “Somebody’s going to pay. It’s just one of those things that everybody goes through.
“He’s working, and we still have unbelievable confidence in him and what he brings. You feel like he’s going to do something special every time he goes up there.”
The Yankees also will get their first looks at rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies.
Acuna went 4-for-13 in the weekend series after missing a month with a mild ACL sprain and contusion in his left knee and also a lower back contusion. The 20-year-old is batting .269 with six homers and 15 RBIs in his first 32 games.
Albies enters with a .275 average and on an 11-game hitting streak. During the longest streak of his career, he is batting .431 (22-for-51).
The Yankees own the best home record in the majors at 31-12 and are 26-7 in their last 33 home games. New York also has slugged 77 of its major league-leading 137 homers at home after setting a season high with six in Sunday’s 11-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
Aaron Hicks hit three homers and Aaron Judge belted his 22nd, rookie Gleyber Torres hit his 15th and Kyle Higashioka delivered his first as the Yankees roughed up David Price.
Anibal Sanchez, who is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts), gets the ball for the Braves. He’s hoping to avoid his third straight loss after allowing six runs and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cincinnati Reds.
Sanchez exited his last start on Tuesday with right calf cramps after throwing a pitch to Cincinnati’s Joey Votto.
Sanchez is making his 271st career start. The first start of his career occurred June 25, 2006, at old Yankee Stadium when he allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins against a lineup featuring Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.
Including his major league debut, Sanchez is 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. He last faced New York on Aug. 1 with the Detroit Tigers and held the Yankees to two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 win at Yankee Stadium. It also was his last win with the Tigers.
If Sanchez gives the Braves a chance for a save opportunity in the ninth inning, Arodys Vizcaino could close it out. Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list June 24 with shoulder inflammation Jim Kelly Jersey , took a rest day Sunday after throwing a side session Saturday and could be activated for the opener.
Vizcaino last pitched June 17. Before going on the DL, he posted a 1.82 ERA, converted 15 of 17 save opportunities and struck out 33 in 29 2/3 innings in 30 appearances.
Jonathan Loaisiga will make his fourth start since being inserted into the rotation for Masahiro Tanaka (hamstrings). Loaisiga is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his first three starts.
Two of those starts were scoreless outings as he threw a combined 10 1/ 3 scoreless innings, allowed four hits and fanned 14 in wins over Tampa Bay on June 15 and at Philadelphia last Monday. His other start was June 20 when he allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners decided on a walk-off homer by Stanton.
“He was a lot more assertive, a lot more aggressive with his fastball and challenging the strike zone with it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We saw a number of really good breaking balls. We saw some good changeups. When he got in some putaway counts, I felt like he did a better job of making it look like a strike out of the hand, which is something you’ve got to be better at here in the big leagues.”
Monday will be the 30th regular-season meeting between the teams, who met in the 1996 and 1999 World Series. The Yankees are 17-12 all-time against the Braves.