(SportsNetwork.com) - Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer eyes his fourth win in five starts on Wednesday when the Indians play the middle test of a three- game series with the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field.
Bauer's latest win came at the expense of the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals, as he held them to a pair of runs in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 5-2, while lowering his ERA to 2.94.
He has reached the seventh inning in his last five starts after a two-game stretch where he allowed 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings at the beginning of May. While he did allow four walks -- making it his seventh of 11 games this season with three or more -- Bauer doesn't seem bothered by it.
"I don't care about walks," Bauer said. "A lot of people care about walks. As long as they don't score, I don't care. Tonight, I walked four guys, and none of them scored."
Bauer, though, could be in some trouble tonight, as he has lost all three of his starts against the Mariners and has pitched to a 5.09 ERA.
Seattle, meanwhile, turns to 22-year-old righty Taijuan Walker, who dominated the Tribe two starts ago. Walker scattered two hits and struck out eight over eight scoreless innings to beat the Indians on May 29.
However, he was unable to follow that superb effort up, as Walker absorbed the loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday, but pitched well, allowing three runs and five hits in eight innings. He also struck out seven and fell to 2-6 to go along with a 5.80 ERA.
"He was outstanding," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "It was a tremendous outing and it's nice to see him turning the corner."
Seattle drew first blood in this series on Tuesday, as Seth Smith provided a valuable insurance run with an eighth-inning RBI single and the Mariners eked out a 3-2 win.
"Always good to win the first one," said Robinson Cano, who doubled twice and drove in the other run..
Roenis Elias (3-3) allowed a run on five hits over his successful six-inning start. Carson Smith allowed a Yan Gomes homer in the ninth but recovered to earn his second save.
Gomes slugged a pair of solo homers for the Indians, while Corey Kluber (3-7) took the loss despite giving up two runs on seven hits over seven full frames.
"One of those days where I wasn't as sharp as I'd like to be, but I battled through it and put together a decent start," said Kluber.
Not everything was positive for the Mariners, as slugger Nelson Cruz left the contest with back spasms. He is day-to-day.
Cleveland took three of four from the M's when these teams met up at Safeco Field to wrap up the month of May.