All's well that ends well: Tribe wins; Astros avoid no-no
By Jordan Bastian and Brian McTaggart
HOUSTON -- After right-hander Trevor Bauer went six no-hit innings against the Astros on Thursday, the Indians' bullpen took over, but closer Nick Hagadone could not complete the feat after allowing a one-out homer to Jed Lowrie in the ninth inning of the Tribe's 5-1 win.
"Any time you have a no-hitter going, it's fun," Bauer said. "There's a special air in the building. Obviously, it's unfortunate to see the home run, but the team won, and at the end of the day, that's what matters. We took two out of three in the series and head home on a good note."
"The scoreboard is way too big not to know that you're being no-hit," said Lowrie, whose homer snapped the Astros' 17-inning scoreless streak. "It's a weight lifted off the whole dugout, the whole team. Hopefully, it was good for morale."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bauer outage: For the first time in Indians history, a pitcher was removed from a game after the fifth inning with a no-hitter intact. Bauer was overpowering, but effectively wild, pushing his pitch count well over the century mark. He kept Houston's hitters guessing throughout the afternoon, leaving it to the bullpen to finish on his historic path. More >
"He got a lot of swings and misses," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He threw a lot of deep counts that ran his pitch count up, but he competed and never gave in. He didn't let it fluster him and kept attacking, and ended up having a good day."
Oh no, Wojo: Making his first Major League appearance, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski struggled with his command and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. He went four-plus innings and gave up four runs and eight hits, including homers to Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez while throwing 88 pitches. More >
Inside job: In the second inning, Perez drove a pitch from Wojciechowski to right field, and Yan Gomes attempted to score from second. Astros right fielder George Springer made a perfect throw to the plate, and Gomes looked to be out by a few steps. Gomes then made a quick move to the inside of the plate, sliding just beyond the reach of Houston catcher Hank Conger for the Tribe's second run. More >
"I was actually kind of surprised that he was sending me," said Gomes, referring to third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh. "But in a play like that, two outs, might as well go and make them make the play. Hey, I put a good move there. That was probably one of the more athletic moves I've done in a while."
"Nobody wants to get no-hit. Like I said, we didn't threaten the no-hitter a ton during that game. No one wants to be on that end of that, and that's a good outcome when that doesn't happen." -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch
"It's kind of like getting back on the horse. I just thought it'd be really [good for him]. … We're going to lean on Hags, and we want to get him going and feeling good about himself. So it's easy to go to [Bryan] Shaw or Cody [Allen] or maybe even [Anthony] Swarzak. But with all the switch-hitters they had coming up, we thought it'd be a good time for Hags to get back out there." -- Francona, on using Hagadone in the ninth inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Bauer's pitching line was extremely unique in terms of baseball history. It marked the first time since at least 1914 that a pitcher struck out at least 11 with no hits allowed in no more than six innings of work.
• Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco struck out 10 batters in Wednesday's win over the Astros. Combined with Bauer's showing, Cleveland had starting pitchers turn in double-digit strikeout games in consecutive April games for the first time since April 15-16 in 1966.
• The Indians have held their opponent to four hits or fewer in each of their first three games, which ties a Major League record with the Orioles (2011), Twins (2003), Dodgers (1965) and Red Sox (1916).
• The Indians joined the D-backs (May 18, 2001) as the only teams since 1914 to have at least 16 strikeouts and seven walks in a one-hitter. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson started that previous game for Arizona.
Hinch's first replay review was an unsuccessful one. Hinch challenged a routine out call at first base at the end of the sixth inning, contending Indians first baseman Carlos Santana's foot came off the bag while stretching to catch a throw on a ball off the bat of Chris Carter. The replay official ruled the call on the field stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: The Tribe will return home to Cleveland on Friday for its home opener against the American League Central-rival Tigers at 4:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Zach McAllister is scheduled to start for the Indians in front of a sold-out crowd.
Astros: Houston hits the road this weekend, but it won't leave the state as it opens a three-game series in Arlington against the Rangers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Friday. Collin McHugh, who went 7-0 in his final 10 starts last year, gets the ball for the Astros, who won the season series from Texas last year after losing the previous five years.