CLEVELAND -- Matt Adams made the hardest contact among the Cardinals batters during Trevor Bauer's time on the mound on Thursday. After swinging through a cutter from the Indians starter in the sixth inning, Adams slammed his bat into the ground, splitting the piece of lumber.
That was the kind of day Bauer was having for the Tribe.
"He was outstanding," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Bauer exited in line for his third victory of the season, but Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter altered the script with a two-run home run off Tribe lefty Marc Rzepczynski in the eighth inning. That was enough damage to sent Bauer to a no-decision and the Indians to a 2-1 loss at Progressive Field.
One day after Cleveland ace Corey Kluber tied a nine-inning club record with 18 strikeouts in an overpowering effort against St. Louis, Bauer followed suit with a strong showing of his own. The 24-year-old right-hander piled up 10 strikeouts -- marking his third career double-digit showing -- and scattered four hits and three walks in 7 1/3 innings.
Bauer said he followed a similar plan as Kluber.
"That was my game plan going in," Bauer said. "He basically followed the exact same game plan that I was going to. [It was] confirmation that it was going to work. I was going to pitch this way regardless."
It was a return to form for Bauer, who had struggled in his previous two outings.
Heading into Thursday's effort, Bauer posted a 10.61 ERA with six strikeouts and three walks in 9 1/3 innings combined over his past two starts. That was a drastic dropoff from the first four starts of the year for Bauer, who turned in a 1.80 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 13 walks in 25 innings in that span.
"I got back to doing things that I know work for me," Bauer said. "[That's] being aggressive, the intent I throw the ball with, pitching a more [effective velocity], efficient game plan -- stuff like that. I was happy to see it turn out that way. It's unfortunate that we came out on the losing end again."