Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
NEW YORK -- Trevor Bauer looked far from a pitcher on a roll.
He hit his first batter and started seven of his opening 14 with balls.
Yet, he won his career-best seventh straight decision, helping the Cleveland Indians beat the New York Yankees 2-1 Wednesday in a doubleheader opener.
"It wasn't his best stuff, but he fought like crazy," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Jose Ramirez tied his big league high with four hits and the Indians took advantage of Gary Sanchez's passed ball in a two-run first inning. Defending AL champion Cleveland has won six straight games and 15 of 19, opening a seven-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central and moving a season-high 19 games over .500 at 75-56.
Bauer (14-8) allowed one run, four hits and four walks over six innings on an afternoon of brilliant sunshine. He is 7-0 in nine starts since a July 16 loss at Oakland.
"It was a struggle," he said. "Day games are always kind of weird."
Cody Allen struck out three of four batters for his 22nd save in 25 chances, combining with Tyler Olson and Bryan Shaw for one-hit relief. Slumping Aaron Judge, held out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game, pinch hit with two outs in the ninth and struck out.
Jaime Garcia (1-2) gave up two runs, six hits and three walks in five-plus innings.
Rookie Jordan Montgomery (7-6) was to start the second game for the Yankees and Ryan Merritt (1-0) for the Indians. New York dropped 4 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.
Sanchez's 13th passed ball, second-most in the major leagues, caused an unearned run. Francisco Lindor singled leading off, stole second, went to third on Ramirez's single and came home on the passed ball, which also allowed Ramirez to advance.
"That's kind of where I wanted to throw it, but my stuff sometimes moves," Garcia said.
Yandy Diaz followed with another run-scoring single.
Didi Gregorius had an RBI double in the third for the Yankees, who went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The game was a makeup of Monday night's rainout.
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