Trevor Bauer goes the distance, Indians win sixth straight game

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The Indians kept rolling, sweeping the Rays on Wednesday and winning their sixth consecutive game behind a complete game effort from Trevor Bauer. Bauer gave up a lone run on three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts.

Jason Kipnis slugged the Indians to an early lead, blasting a two-run homer off of Chris Archer in the first inning. Francisco Lindor would add an RBI single before the end of the frame. Carlos Santana hit an RBI double in the fourth and an RBI single in the seventh, and Lindor tacked on a sacrifice fly in the seventh to make it 6-1, the score by which the Indians would eventually win.

Bauer is now 5-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 79/27 K/BB ratio in 84 1/3 innings. That includes six relief appearances prior to moving back to the rotation. Strictly as a starter, Bauer has a 2.96 ERA and a 65/22 K/BB ratio in 73 innings.

The Indians will take Thursday off before beginning a 10-game road trip that brings them into July. That means they’ll end the month of June a perfect 11-0 at home.

As the 41-30 Indians won and the Royals lost on Wednesday, the Tribe now have a three-game lead over the defending World Champs in the AL Central.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.