Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer had his fourth consecutive strong outing at Safeco Field on Friday night. Bauer went seven innings and struck out 10 while walking three batters and scattering six hits. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a homer off the bat of Mariners DH Seth Smith, with Nelson Cruz on base. The sixth-inning homer gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Bauer was ultimately tagged with the loss. In his last four starts, Bauer has given up two runs once and one run three times. The Indians have lost two games by scores of 2-1 in May with Bauer as the starting pitcher. Bauer went 2-3 in May, but with a modicum of run support, he would be 4-1 for the month. This is the kind of thing Joe Posnanski has been writing about recently.
As good as Bauer was on Friday, though, Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker was even better. Walker, who allowed 20 earned runs over his past 23 1/3 innings of work, pitched eight scoreless innings on Friday. He gave up only two hits, harmless singles to Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher, and didn’t walk a batter. Walker retired 23 of the last 24 hitters he faced.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon sent closer Fernando Rodney out to pitch the ninth inning. After retiring the first two Indians batters, Rodney walked Kipnis, then gave up a triple to pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn. With the tying run 90 feet away, Michael Brantley hit a routine fly ball to Cruz in right field to end the game.