Indians beat Nats, extend lead to 3½ over Tigers

Stephen Whyno
Associated Press

Washington  — Trevor Bauer remembered what it was like to be on the wrong side of a no-hitter. Oregon State’s Josh Osich did it to him at UCLA, and he was determined not to let it happen again.

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, left, reacts with starting pitcher Trevor Bauer as bench coach Brad Mills walks to relieve Bauer during the seventh inning Tuesday. The Indians won 3-1.

Bouncing back from some rough outings, Bauer outdueled Max Scherzer, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Bauer (8-5) allowed four hits and struck out four in 6⅓ shutout innings opposite Scherzer’s flirtation with his third no-hitter.

“For me, it’s like I want to make sure that he doesn’t get the win,” Bauer said. “If he’s going to throw a no-hitter, I want to make him throw 10, 12, 14 no-hit innings. The way you do that is keep it scoreless. It was kind of a challenge.”

In his past five starts, Bauer had allowed 22 earned runs on 33 hits for an ugly 8.37 ERA. That wouldn’t have gotten it done against Scherzer (12-7), who retired 19 of the first 20 batters before struggling in the seventh.

Francisco Lindor singled to break up Scherzer’s no-hit bid in the seventh, advanced to third on the pitcher’s pickoff attempt-turned two-base error and scored on Jose Ramirez’s double. Lonnie Chisenhall drove in Ramirez as Cleveland made the most of an opportunistic inning.

Ramirez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.

“He’s been doing it all year,” said bench coach Brad Mills, who filled in for Terry Francona when the manager fell ill before the game. “He was hitting cleanup tonight for a reason, because of that, and he did a great job and then that steal of third there was huge to be able to get that.”

Scherzer struck out 10 batters for the 10th time this season and 46th time in his career. He was aiming to be the sixth pitcher with three no-hitters but came up short while allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in seven innings.

“Once you make it through six, you’ve got a shot,” Scherzer said. “On the mound pitching, I threw the ball really well tonight. It’s the little things that beat me.”

Cleveland’s lineup isn’t imposing, but the way it cracked Scherzer shows why the Indians are in first place in the AL Central.

“Games like that, when you have two really good teams matching up like that, the difference in winning and losing is razor thin,” Bauer said. “They did a heck of a job. They got an opening and they took it.”