WASHINGTON — Trevor Bauer remembered what it was like to be on the wrong side of a no-hitter. Oregon State’s Josh Osich did it to him at UCLA, and he was determined not to let it happen again.
Bouncing back from some rough outings, Bauer outdueled Max Scherzer, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Washington Nationals 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Bauer (8-5) allowed four hits and struck out four in 6 1/3 shutout innings opposite Scherzer’s flirtation with his third no-hitter.
“For me, it’s like I want to make sure that he doesn’t get the win,” Bauer said. “If he’s going to throw a no-hitter, I want to make him throw 10, 12, 14 no-hit innings. The way you do that is keep it scoreless. It was kind of a challenge.”
In his past five starts, Bauer had allowed 22 earned runs on 33 hits for an ugly 8.37 ERA. That wouldn’t have gotten it done against Scherzer (12-7), who retired 19 of the first 20 batters before struggling in the seventh.
Francisco Lindor singled to break up Scherzer’s no-hit bid in the seventh, advanced to third on the pitcher’s pickoff attempt-turned two-base error and scored on Jose Ramirez’s double. Lonnie Chisenhall drove in Ramirez as Cleveland made the most of an opportunistic inning.
Ramirez went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
“He’s been doing it all year,” said bench coach Brad Mills, who filled in for Terry Francona when the manager fell ill before the game. “He was hitting cleanup tonight for a reason, because of that, and he did a great job and then that steal of third there was huge to be able to get that.”
Scherzer struck out 10 batters for the 10th time this season and 46th time in his career. He was aiming to be the sixth pitcher with three no-hitters but came up short while allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in seven innings.
“Once you make it through six, you’ve got a shot,” Scherzer said. “On the mound pitching, I threw the ball really well tonight. It’s the little things that beat me.”
Cleveland’s lineup isn’t imposing, but the way it cracked Scherzer shows why the Indians are in first place in the AL Central.
“Games like that, when you have two really good teams matching up like that, the difference in winning and losing is razor thin,” Bauer said. “They did a heck of a job. They got an opening and they took it.”
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder) saw a specialist in New York, and the team says he has the symptoms of chronic biceps tendinitis. His return this season is in doubt. … Francona was not feeling well enough to manage after complaining of chest pain before the game. He was replaced by Mills, but the team said the decision was precautionary. … Francona said RHP Danny Salazar (right elbow inflammation) played catch and was doing well. Salazar is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 17 and could rejoin the rotation then. … Francona said RHP Jeff Manship (right wrist tendinitis) should be able to come off the DL on Thursday without a rehab appearance.
Nationals: OF Bryce Harper missed his second consecutive game with a stiff neck. Manager Dusty Baker had no timeframe on the reigning National League MVP’s return other than to say the club has considered shutting him down to avoid further risk. … C Wilson Ramos took a foul tip off his left foot in the eighth inning. He stayed in the game but was replaced by Pedro Severino at the start of the ninth. Baker said he wasn’t concerned.
Before Scherzer’s no-hit bid ended, center fielder Ben Revere made a highlight-reel jumping catch to rob Roberto Perez in the sixth. Revere leapt at the wall in left-center field to take extra bases away from Perez while Scherzer let out a scream.
“If you see around when there’s a guy throwing a no-hitter, there’s always a great play behind that,” Perez said. “Those things happen, he made a great catch.”
The Indians have listed 25-year-old RHP Mike Clevinger (0-1, 6.97 ERA) as their starter for the Wednesday afternoon series finale. LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-9, 4-13) starts for the Nationals.