Walters hits walk-off homer to capture Game 1

Bauer goes career-high eight innings, gets no-decision vs. former club

Walters hits walk-off homer to capture Game 1

CLEVELAND -- If Trevor Bauer had payback on his mind on Wednesday, the Indians starter did not put it on display in the form of a fastball high and tight to one of his former teammates. Bauer got back at the D-backs the old-fashioned way: he took the mound and helped the Tribe to a win.

In the opener of a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday, Bauer faced his old team for the first time and turned in a career-high eight innings. The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth, working efficiently to put the Tribe in position to claim a 3-2, walk-off victory over Arizona at Progressive Field.

Zach Walters -- recently acquired in a trade with Washington -- provided the decisive blow for the Indians, sending a pitch from Arizona's Randall Delgado over the wall in right field for a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth. The blast was the first in a Tribe uniform for Walters, who thrust an arm in the air as he sprinted around first base to the roar of the crowd.

Cleveland now has eight walk-off victories this season.

Bauer -- selected by the D-backs with the third overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft -- is in his second season with the Indians, who acquired the pitcher from Arizona in a three-team, nine-player trade two winters ago. During his lone big league season in the desert, Bauer was criticized publicly by members of his former ballclub.

"That was two years ago," Bauer said. "I've long since moved on from that. So to me, it's just another team. Nine more hitters to try to get out. That's it. There's no bad blood between me and them or anything like that. I moved on from it a long time ago. I just tried to pitch and get outs."

Most vocal among Bauer's critics was Arizona catcher Miguel Montero, who insisted this week in Cleveland that everything in the past is now water under the bridge. The much-anticipated on-field meeting between Bauer and Montero lasted all of three pitches in the second inning, when the catcher chased a curve in the dirt for a strikeout.

"I just thought he did a really good job with it," manager Terry Francona said of Bauer. "I know there's some history there. I think he was a little extra amped up, but he used it in a way where he stayed under control. He didn't just go out and throw. He went out and pitched really well."

The D-backs did get to Bauer, but only sparingly.

In the sixth inning, following a leadoff walk to Jake Lamb, Bauer gave up a single down the right-field line to Xavier Paul. That ended a run of 16 consecutive D-backs batters without a hit surrendered by Bauer, who then induced a double-play groundout from Jordan Pacheco. Lamb scored from third on the play, putting the Indians in a 1-0 hole.

Cleveland's lineup was laboring similarly against Arizona lefty Vidal Nuno, who scattered two hits through his first five innings of work. In the home half of the sixth, Nuno gave up a two-run, two-out single to Michael Brantley, who shot a sharply-hit ground ball just under the glove of second baseman Aaron Hill to push the Tribe in front, 2-1.

Nuno exited after 5 2/3 innings, in which he struck out six and allowed six hits.

The D-backs countered again in the seventh, when Mark Trumbo singled to right, advanced to third on a double by Montero and crossed the plate on a groundout from Hill. That pulled the game into a 2-2 deadlock and represented the extent of the damage that Arizona managed against Bauer.

For his 111-pitch effort, and due to a lack of run support, Bauer was hung with a no-decision. The right-hander finished with a pair of walks issued, four hits relinquished and nine strikeouts tallied in arguably his best performance of the season for the Indians.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.