Bauer pitched effectively into the eighth inning as the Indians

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Trevor Bauer made plenty of quality pitches Dre'Mont Jones Jersey , but it was Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez who made the best throw of the night.

With the Royals trailing by one in the eighth, Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff double before Perez nabbed him attempting to steal third.

”It was a huge play,” Bauer said.

Merrifield, the 2017 AL stolen base champion, said he got a good jump

”They executed. I executed,” Merrifield said. ”They got me this time. It was the right play. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it again.”

Perez gave credit to Bauer.

”He was thinking he was going to try and steal,” Perez said. ”He called fastball up and in and I thought that was the game right there. That was on Bauer. He hit me right in the chest and I made a strong throw, and (Jose) Ramirez made a good tag on him. I was fired up.”

Michael Brantley had an early RBI double and the Indians scored all their runs in the first three innings on only one hit. Bauer struck out eight and walked one over 7 2/3 innings.

The plummeting Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21. They have scored four or fewer runs in 25 of their past 26 games and are barely ahead of Baltimore for the worst record in the majors.

After winning on grand slams by Francisco Lindor and Yan Gomes the previous two nights, the Indians managed only four hits – two in the ninth inning.

Bauer (8-6) has struck out eight or more in eight consecutive starts. He allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and is 3-1 in his past four starts.

”It was frustrating in a lot of ways and I was happy the team won,” Bauer said. ”I made some good pitches and gave up some weak hits. I had too many two-strike pitches put into play. I need to clean that up.”

Cody Allen worked the ninth to earn his 18th save in 19 chances. It was his 140th career save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman for the club record.

Lindor walked to start the game, stole second and scored on Brantley’s double. Brantley went to third on Ramirez’s flyout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.

The Indians manufactured a run without a hit in the second. Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin opened the inning with walks. Perez advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Greg Allen delivered a sacrifice fly.

Kansas City used a double steal to create a run in the second. Alex Gordon, who was hit by a pitch, and Hunter Dozier, who reached on an infield single Hakeem Butler Jersey , were at the corners with two outs. They pulled off a successful double steal, with Gordon scoring. It was Dozier’s first career steal.

The last Royals player to steal home was Alex Rios on July 20, 2015, against Pittsburgh, also as part of a double steal.

Alcides Escobar singled in the Kansas City fifth and advanced to third on Drew Butera’s one-out single. Escobar scored on Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.

Royals starter Trevor Oaks (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Ian Kennedy’s spot in the rotation, was removed after four innings and 73 pitches. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks.

”The leadoff walks and not having good command, just really frustrating when I’ve walked like one or two guys an outing and now I’m back to four,” Oaks said.

Oaks had a 0.62 ERA in his last seven Triple-A starts. Kennedy went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.


Dozier made his first big league start at third base. Dozier played 401 games at third, starting 281, in the Royals’ minor league system. He had started 35 games at first base, two in right field and two as the DH this season.


Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (bruised left knee) did not play after fouling a pitch off his leg in the ninth inning Tuesday. X-rays were negative. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday. … LHP Tyler Olson (shoulder strain) threw 17 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on a rehab assignment. He retired two batters, walked one, struck out one and did not allow a hit.

Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. ”It’s not serious at all,” manager Ned Yost said. ”He came in today and still felt it a little bit. With an off day tomorrow, there’s no sense in pushing it.” … OF Bubba Starling (oblique strain) was sent to the rookie-level Arizona League to begin a rehab assignment. Starling, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has not played since May 10 with Triple-A Omaha.


Indians: Open a homestand Friday against the Athletics with RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) starting. Oakland will counter with RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2 http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/jonah-williams-jersey-cheap , 6.46).

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56) starts Friday night against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41) gets the ball for Boston.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The 2018 season has been one of constant adaptation for the defending AFC champion Patriots.From adjusting after Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension to open the season to a surprise 1-2 start to dealing with several injuries at running back to Josh Gordon’s arrival and abrupt departure , New England’s mettle has been tested on almost a weekly basis.New England will enter the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 2 seed and with a first-round bye , which in the past has been key to them making deep postseason runs. But in a season already marked by so many changes, they’ll find out just how well they’ve been able to adapt when the postseason commences.“Every team has its own unique identity and this team cares a lot about each other. We play for each other and we’re playing to win,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “I think that’s what we’re here for. We’ve shown we can compete. We’ve shown we could overcome some adversity. We’ve been counted out a few times and showed back up with a lot of resolve.”New England avoided playing in the wild-card round, which it hasn’t participated in since 2009, when it was blown out by Baltimore. Having at least one playoff game at home has been important to the Patriots’ success under Bill Belichick. New England has not won a road playoff game since 2006. The Patriots would have to do just that if they advance out of the divisional round and meet top-seed Kansas City in the AFC championship game.While New England ended the regular season as healthy as it has been all season, several key players will certainly benefit from this week off to rest nagging injuries.One of them is tight end Rob Gronkowski, who contemplated retirement after last season’s Super Bowl loss and is coming off a challenging regular season.He missed only three games but has battled ankle and lingering back issues for most of the year. He caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns, but that was down from his 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight TDs (all team highs) in 2017.At times it hampered the options in the passing game for Brady, who was already having to adapt to a mostly new group of receivers. Players such as Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett have done their best to step up, but there’s beeninconsistency.Gordon’s arrival helped steady things and with 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns he was having his best season since he was an All-Pro with Cleveland in 2013.That all ended late last month when he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating an agreement that allowed him to play after multiple drug suspensions.The week after Gordon’s suspension was handed down, in a win over Buffalo, Brady had his lowest output since he passed for 123 yards in a 2003 loss to the Bills.But he recovered in the regular-season finale against the Jets, throwing for four touchdowns and his highest quarterback rating of the season in a 38-3 victory.Defensively Drew Sample Jersey , captain and safety Devin McCourty’s status is uncertain after he suffered a head injury against New York. With an extra week to recover he is expected to be ready for the divisional round.“Dev’s our leader. He’s very smart. He gets us lined up and we feed off of him, (Dont’a) Hightower and those guys,” safety Patrick Chung said. “It’ll be fine. He’ll have time to heal. I’m not really worried about not having him. He’s a tough dude, man. We’ll go from there.”Overall, the defense has had an up-and-down season following the departure of former coordinator Matt Patricia. Linebackers coach Brian Flores has done a good job as a first-time play caller, but the defense has underperformed — particularly up front.Part of the reason is it has had issues getting to the quarterback. Last season the Patriots were tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks. They ended this season tied for 30th with 30 sacks.But after surrendering 30 or more points four times in New England’s first nine games, opponents averaged just 18 points per game over their final seven. McCourty’s brother, cornerback Jason McCourty, will be playing in his first career playoff game after previously playing for Cleveland and Tennessee. He said New England’s ability to deal with adversity is unique.“I think the one cool aspect here is when you look around the locker room, a lot of these guys have been in adversity together before,” he said. “I think when that happens, you know what it takes and you know you can lean on the guy to the left of you and to the right of you.“When it’s already built like that for myself coming in for the first time or anybody coming in … there’s guys you can turn to no matter what adversity you’re going through.”Challenges aside, Brady said he thinks this group is constructed to go far.“We have great character on this team,” he said. “Our story’s still being written, and fortunately we have an opportunity to write it.”

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