Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from series finale win over Pirates

After being shutout in the first two games, the Cleveland Indians flipped the script and shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in the series finale.

After not scoring in the first two games of their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Indians managed to turn the tables on the Bucs and take Wednesday afternoon’s game 4-0. Trevor Bauer pitched a gem once again and the offense provided just enough to avoid the sweep. The Indians ended this “home-stand” going 1-2.

Bauer dominant once again

Trevor Bauer may have been a bit rusty in his first start after the All-Star break but there were no issues today for the Cy Young candidate. Bauer worked into the 8th inning and pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He moves to 9-6 on the year with the win and lowered his season ERA to 2.32.

On the season, Bauer now has a ridiculous 0.33 ERA in inter-league play, which is the second-lowest mark since play began in 1997 (Garrett Richards 0.32 ERA in 2014).

He’s now allowed just one run in 27 2/3 inter-league games. Bauer also moved into a second-place tie with his ninth game of 10 or more strikeouts, just one behind Max Scherzer.

Alonso homers off a lefty

While the biggest hit of the game was the two-run single by Edwin Encarnacion that gave the Indians a 2-0 lead, the biggest surprise of the game was probably Yonder Alonso going deep off All-Star lefty Felipe Vazquez.

The two-run home run gave the Indians some big insurance runs in the 8th inning. The home run was impressive, not just because of how great Vazquez has been this year but for it being off a lefty. Alonso has been platooned a lot lately when a left-hander is on the mound so going deep could give him some more confidence going forward.

New pen arms shut the door

While Alonso’s big home run helped put the game out of reach, the new pen arms were still huge today in shutting the door and preserving both the win and shutout. After starter Trevor Bauer allowed a leadoff single in the 8th inning, newly acquired righty Adam Cimber came in and was able to get a key double play after allowing a single of his own.

Fellow newbie Brad Hand then came in to face Adam Frazier with a runner on third and got a big strikeout. Hand then remained in the game and closed out the 9th with a clean 1-2-3 inning, earning his first save with the Wahoos. Closer Cody Allen was up in the bullpen during the 9th but with it not being a save situation and a couple lefties due up, Tito stuck with his new toy and it worked to perfection.

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The Cleveland Indians will hope to build off this win as they head to Detroit to begin a three-game series with the Tigers this weekend. It will be a six-game road trip that will take the Indians through the non-waiver trade deadline, so the next time we see the Indians in Cleveland the roster could be a bit different.