Trevor Bauer pitched 6 1/3 effective innings against the Orioles on Sunday night, helping the Indians extend their winning streak to 18 games. The Indians won 3-2 as the bullpen pitched in to collect the final eight outs.
Jose Ramirez opened the scoring with an RBI ground out in the first inning against O’s starter Jeremy Hellickson. Neither team would score again until the top of the sixth, when the O’s tied things at one apiece with Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI single. The Indians pulled ahead for good in the bottom half of the sixth as Roberto Perez and Francisco Lindor each hit solo home runs off of Hellickson. Chris Davis tried to pull the Orioles back with a solo homer of his own in the top of the seventh, but it would just barely be not enough.
Joe Smith, Tyler Olson, Nick Goody, and Cody Allen combined to blank the Orioles once Bauer exited.
The Indians are now two games shy of matching the Athletics’ record 20-game winning streak set in 2002.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.