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Displeased with start, Bauer says he should be an All-Star

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 5, 2018 at 3:06 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Trevor Bauer wasn't happy with his performance Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium, but that had no bearing on where he thinks he should be on July 17 when the best players in baseball gather in Washington, D.C.

Asked how it felt to be considered a possible selection for the American League All-Star team, Bauer said matter of factly, "I should be an All-Star. I'd imagine I will be and if I'm not, they didn't get it right, whoever they is.

"I'm glad I'm pitching well," he added. "That's been my goal. I feel like I should be an All-Star every year. That's the standard I hold myself to."

Fan voting for the All-Star teams ended Thursday, but the fans don't vote on pitchers. The All-Star teams, starters and reserves, will be announced on Sunday. The All-Star Game will be played July 17 Nationals Park.

Bauer (8-6, 2.45) pitched 7 2/3 innings as the Indians beat the Royals, 3-2, to complete a 5-4 trip. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed two runs on seven hits. But he was not happy. It was written on his face.

He was happy that the Indians won. Happy that closer Cody Allen set the franchise record for saves, but he was not happy with himself.

"Frustrating in a lot of ways," Bauer said. "I made some good pitches and gave up some really weak hits. Too many two-strike balls put in play is the thing I'm most frustrated about. I have to clean that up."

Bauer didn't get a lot of runs to work with and his defense wasn't particularly sharp when the Royals scored their two runs. But it was more than that.

He said he's not getting enough strikeouts. He's had 16 in the last two games and ranks third in the AL with 156 behind Chris Sales at 164 and Gerrit Cole at 158.

But that's still not enough in his mind. A strikeout prevents a ball from being put in play and that's what Bauer wants.

"More balls put in play, more chances for hits, especially when you have one of the league's worst batting average on balls in play, like I do," he said. "So it's just more opportunities to score."

The Royals scored their first run a double steal in the second inning. Alex Gordon, who stole home, was hit by a pitch. Hunter Dozier, who stole second, reached on a slow roller down the third baseline.

They scored again in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Whit Merrifield following a pair of singles, the second of which escaped a diving Yonder Alonso at first base.

"I found two barrels (line drives) and they both happened to be outs, and I still gave up seven hits," Bauer said. "Weak ground balls. A squibber down the first baseline. A bloop to right. It's just frustrating. When you can't get swing-and-miss (strikeouts) that stuff happens and there's a lot more chances to score."

Bauer and his defense were much more aligned in the eighth. Merrifield opened the inning with a double with the Tribe leading, 3-2. After Rosell Herrera flied out to left, Merrifield, for some reason, tried to steal third. Catcher Roberto Perez hung him out to dry with a strong throw to Jose Ramirez for the second out.

After Salvador Perez singled — Francisco Lindor knocked it down on the outfield grass so Merrifield may or may not have scored - lefty Oliver Perez relieved and struck out Lucas Duda.

Perez was excited about the play.

"I could tell Merrifield wanted to steal," Perez said. "Bauer was throwing a lot of breaking balls, so I called a fastball up and in."

Bauer's fastball put Perez in a perfect position to make a good throw to third.

"I thought that was the game right there," Perez said. "That's on Bauer."

So at least Bauer had something to smile about.

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