Bauer works six shutout innings for first win

Bauer works six shutout innings for first win

Bauer works six shutout innings for first win
PHOENIX -- Trevor Bauer was on the same page with his catcher Sunday afternoon.

Coincidence or not, the D-backs right-hander is now on the board with his first big league win.

In his third Major League start, Bauer tossed six shutout innings and Paul Goldschmidt drove in four runs to lead the D-backs past the Dodgers, 7-1, at Chase Field.

"There wasn't any real relief," Bauer said of getting his first win. "I wasn't anxious or worried or anything like that to begin with."

The win was the third in a row for the D-backs, who had lost their previous six straight, and it pulls them to within four games of the first-place Dodgers in the National League West heading into the All-Star break.

"Get swept by the Padres and come back here and win three out of four from the Dodgers and get us back to four off the pace right now," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's very good because it's good momentum, a good feel about ourselves."

Bauer, the first player from the 2011 Draft to reach the Majors, struggled in his first two starts allowing nine runs (eight earned) in a combined 7 1/3 innings.

Cramping in his groin muscle hampered him in his first start and not being in sync with veteran catcher Miguel Montero cropped up as an issue in both. Last time out against the Padres, Montero estimated that Bauer shook him off 14 or 15 times, expressing frustration that the young hurler did not seem inclined to accept his input.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson finally organized a meeting between the pair along with himself, pitching coach Charles Nagy, bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock and bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas on Saturday. The meeting lasted 15 minutes and all parties said it was productive.

"It was definitely good to sit down and talk to him and talk to everyone in the room and kind of explain how I like to pitch and listen to how they like to attack hitters," Bauer said. "It was more comfortable out there for sure. We just needed to talk it out and get on the same page and we were on the same page today. It was a lot easier than when he put down a sign because he knows how I like to pitch, he's using his knowledge of the hitters to fit to my game plan and let's go with it."

That seemed to be the case Sunday as Montero said Bauer hardly shook him off.

"Probably four or five times, which is not bad," Montero said. "We were on the same page and we worked together and it was a totally different game."

Bauer was far more efficient with his pitches. He walked just one hitter while fanning six -- a big improvement over the seven walks he allowed in his first two outings. Of his 96 pitches, 60 went for strikes.

"I think the biggest difference is I was able to be consistent mechanically and throw strikes," Bauer said. "I was throwing strikes today, making them hit the ball instead of being behind in the count."

The two hits included a leadoff double to Juan Rivera in the second and a double by opposing pitcher Chris Capuano to start the third.

"Miggy understood what he wanted to do in a certain situation and Trevor had trust in him a few times," Gibson said. "One of the things I said is, 'You guys have to trust each other.'"

The D-backs gave Bauer some early support as they scored a pair of runs in the first inning.

Justin Upton got things started with a triple off the right-field wall that scored Willie Bloomquist, and Goldschmidt continued his red-hot hitting one out later with a double that brought home Upton.

Goldschmidt, it turns out, was just getting started.

Capuano retired the first two hitters of the fifth before Upton and Jason Kubel managed back-to-back singles. Goldschmidt then blasted an 0-1 offering into the seats in left-center to give the D-backs a 5-0 lead.

Goldschmidt finished the day 2-for-3 with four RBIs while Upton was 3-for-4 and a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.

"He's just kind of settling in," Gibson said of Goldschmidt, who is in his first full season in the Majors. "He's got a real good feel about the situation. Very smart ballplayer."

Capuano, who dropped his glove on the mound as Goldschmidt's homer sailed out of the park, took the loss to fall to 9-4.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.