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Tuesday, May 20, 2014 7:59 PM

Associated Press

Indians 6, Tigers 2

CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer outpitched former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and tamed Detroit’s menacing lineup, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-2 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night.

Bauer (1-1) was recalled earlier in the day for his second start this season and the right-hander held the AL’s top hitting team to just two runs and seven hits in 6-plus innings.

Mike Aviles hit a 2-run double in the second when the Indians scored four runs off Verlander (5-3), who didn’t settle in until the damage was already done.

David Murphy homered in the seventh for the last-place Indians, who can sweep the 3-game series today.

Torii Hunter and Alex Avila homered for Detroit.

The Indians were anxious to see how the head-strong 23-year-old Bauer, with the unorthodox warm-up routine and blazing fastball, would perform against a lineup featuring the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Hunter. Bauer has been dominating minor-league hitters at Columbus and had never faced any hitters of this caliber.

He was more than up for the challenge.

Obviously, it helped that he was staked to an early 4-run lead and Detroit leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler ran his club out of a potentially big inning in the fifth.

Bauer held Hunter, Cabrera and Martinez to a combined 2-for-8 and was helped by two double plays.

In the sixth, Indians manager Terry Francona won an instant-replay challenge of a close play at first. After initially ruling Detroit’s Nick Castellanos safe at first, the umpires reviewed the video and overturned their call, resulting in an inning-ending double play.

When Bauer was lifted for Bryan Shaw after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh, he received a standing ovation from the Progressive Field crowd.

Shaw pitched two perfect innings and Cody Allen worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Indians grabbed a 5-1 lead in the second when they collected three doubles, two singles and Michael Bourn caught Detroit napping and stole third.

The unexpected outburst began with a base-running blunder as Carlos Santana singled off Cabrera’s glove at first but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Nick Swisher doubled and Yan Gomes walked before Aviles lined his 2-run double into the gap in left-center.

Bourn followed with a double off the wall in right to score Aviles and Cleveland’s leadoff hitter alertly swiped third without a throw. Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI single made it 4-1.

Hunter gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the first with his sixth homer, a laser-like, 429-foot shot.

Lonnie Chisenhall hit a run-scoring single in Cleveland’s first at-bat to tie it.

Nationals 9, Reds 4

WASHINGTON— Denard Span was at his disruptive best, getting three hits off the major’s top pitcher and forcing a pair of throwing errors Tuesday night to lead the Washington Nationals to a 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Span finished 5-for-5 with two runs, two doubles, two RBIs and a stolen base as the Nationals accomplished a first for 2014: They made Johnny Cueto (4-3) look mortal.

The Reds’ ace allowed more than two runs, more than five hits and failed to pitch at least seven innings — all for the first time this season.

The final line for Cueto: 5 1/3 innings, six hits, eight runs (six earned), six strikeouts. He also hit two batters in the same inning — the 7-run sixth when the Nationals blew the game open. His ERA rose from 1.25 to 1.86.

The Reds, the best fielding team in the majors, finished with four errors — twice as many as in any previous game this season.

Doug Fister (1-1), making his home Nationals’ debut, allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings with good movement on his fastball. He had a streak of 12 retired batters in a row and worked out of a jam in the sixth with the help of a diving stop by third baseman Anthony Rendon and a tip-toe stretch by first baseman Tyler Moore that turned Rendon’s throw into the third out.

Above all, Span was the unstoppable agitator and it started to pay off in the Reds’ calamitous third inning.

Fister led off by reaching on an error when first baseman Todd Frazier couldn’t backhand a grounder. Span then tried to bunt his way on and did even better, laying one down that prompted a wide throw from third baseman Ramon Santiago. Fister scored all the way from the first and Span ended up on third and scored on Rendon’s sacrifice fly to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead.

Span, hitting only .239 entering the game, led off the sixth inning with a single, then stole second and went to third when catcher Brayan Pena’s throw went into center field. Span scored on Jayson Werth’s RBI single and eventually came around to bat again in the inning, bringing home two more runs with a double off reliever Sean Marshall.


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