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« on: January 31, 2019, 04:08:28 AM »

OAKLAND Cody Kessler Jersey , Calif. — Trevor Bauer will pursue a piece of Cleveland Indians history Friday night when he opens a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

Having recorded at least eight strikeouts in all five of his starts this month, Bauer needs 16 to match Hall of Famer Bob Feller’s franchise record of 70 for the month of June, set in 1946.

Bauer’s career high for strikeouts in a game is 14, set last May against the A’s in just seven innings.

More realistically, the California native needs 10 strikeouts to equal the second-best June total in Indians history, set by Sam McDowell in 1965.

Bauer (7-5, 2.44), who ranks third in the American League in strikeouts, has recorded 10 or more six times in his last eight starts, going 5-2 in the process.

The 27-year-old right-hander has never won in Oakland, going 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in three starts. He’s 1-2 with a 4.44 ERA in five career starts against the A’s overall.

One A’s hitter Bauer has dominated in the past is hot-hitting Jed Lowrie Calais Campbell Jersey , who has gone 1-for-9 in his career against him with five strikeouts in their all-time head-to-heads.

Lowrie had 15 hits in nine starts on Oakland’s just-completed road trip, raising his average to .294.

Bauer will be facing an A’s team that’s playing its best ball of the season. Oakland is coming off a four-game sweep at Detroit that capped a 7-2 trip.

The A’s have won nine of 11 overall.

The A’s have been even better against the Indians in recent years, winning seven of the last eight meetings in Oakland, including all three on Cleveland’s visit last July.

Right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-2, 8.83) will oppose Bauer.

The 24-year-old has alternated good and bad outings in his four appearances since returning from a strained right forearm that delayed the start of his season almost two full months.

He’s coming off one of the ugly ones, having allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings in a 10-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, but A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson noted he was impressed with the first four innings, during Blackburn pitched scoreless, one-hit ball.

“It was tough for him, one rehab stint and then thrown into the fire,” Emerson said of the abrupt start to Blackburn’s season. “We’re past that now A.J. Bouye Jersey , and I told him now is when we start putting our stuff together and getting the outs we’re supposed to get. We can’t use (the injury) as a crutch anymore. It’s go time; he understands that.”

Blackburn has made one career start against the Indians, compiling a 0-0 record and 4.50 ERA.

The Indians head west after having lost two of three in St. Louis. They had won their previous seven games.

The Indians actually beat the A’s into Oakland, having had Thursday off while the A’s were finishing up their trip in Detroit.

They are coming off a 5-1 win over the Cardinals in which rookie Shane Bieber not only recorded his third straight win but also his first major league hit, a double off fellow rookie Jack Flaherty.

The A’s won’t see Bieber in the series … except as a possible pinch hitter.

Despite having a fastball that doesn’t reach 90 miles an hour, Wade LeBlanc effectively shut down one of the best lineups in the American League.

LeBlanc pitched into the eighth inning and Nelson Cruz had an RBI single as the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Saturday night.

LeBlanc gave up just two hits and struck out nine over 7 2/3 innings. After a single by Mookie Betts on the opening at-bat of the game, he retired the next 22 batters until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the eighth.

”What a changeup he had today. That has been his bread and butter his whole career, but today was probably the best one we’ve seen all year,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”He knows his craft very well and when he gets on a roll like that, he just keeps riding it.”

LeBlanc (3-0) wasn’t a part of the Mariners starting rotation until the first week of May. But since replacing an injured Erasmo Ramirez in the rotation, LeBlanc has shined for the Mariners. He’s posted a 2.06 ERA in nine starts and Saturday’s gem was the best of the lot.

A near-capacity crowd at Safeco Field saluted LeBlanc with a standing ovation as he left the field after Nunez’s single.

”That’s a really neat moment. Guys that throw 86 (mph) don’t really get standing ovations really often,” LeBlanc said chuckling. ”I definitely wanted to kind of take them in and show my appreciation for it.”

Alex Colome got pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to pop out to end the eighth Barry Church Jersey , and Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

It was LeBlanc’s first start of more than seven innings pitched since his first outing of the 2011 season with the San Diego Padres. His nine strikeouts were also his most since striking out 10 against the Los Angeles Dodgers that same season.

”He reminds me of that guy on the wall over there,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said gesturing toward a photo of Jamie Moyer. ”LeBlanc was outstanding. Back-door cutters, front-door sinkers and mixed up his breaking ball halfway through the game, all on the edge of the strike zone.”

LeBlanc had a little help from Dee Gordon at second base with diving stops to rob Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts of base hits.

The Mariners needed LeBlanc’s stellar outing as they struggled to get a lot going against knuckleballer Steven Wright.

Wright (2-1) held Seattle to just one run and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over seven innings.

Three singles – all to left field – off Wright in the third inning gave the Mariners their early advantage. Gordon reached with one out while Mitch Haniger and Cruz each singled with two down.

”We got just enough off of a really tough knuckleballer,” Servais said. ”Our guys are not used to seeing that and he was really good. The ball was dancing everywhere. He threw a lot of strikes with it.

”Our guy was just a little bit better.”

It snapped Wright’s string of 25 1/3 scoreless innings, which topped the stretch of 25 scoreless innings by Oakland’s Daniel Mengden for the longest in the majors this season.

GILBERT SIGNED

The Mariners signed first-round pick Logan Gilbert earlier in the day. The right-handed pitcher from Stetson University posted a 2.52 ERA while going 11-1 with 157 strikeouts and 23 walks in 15 starts. His 157 strikeouts lead NCAA Division-I baseball this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz played catch in the outfield on Friday and is expected to do so again on Sunday. Manager Alex Cora said Pomeranz still felt stiff from his left biceps tendinitis but that they didn’t feel it was anything serious. ”He was moving around better today,” Cora said.

Mariners: RHP Juan Nicasio threw a live bullpen session prior to Saturday’s game. Nicasio is expected to be activated from the disabled list during Seattle’s upcoming series in New York. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday after having fluid buildup in his right knee.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-1) has won each of his last five starts and hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start since May 15. He’s posted a 2.15 ERA over 29 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts over his last five outings.

Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (7-3) has pitched at least six innings in each of his last five starts, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.77 ERA over that span.




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