|Indians' Bauer hopes to go long again vs. White Sox|
Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer leads the big leagues with 109.3 pitches per game this season.
The 27-year-old emerging star would not have it any other way.
"I feel great," Bauer said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer when asked about his high pitch counts. "I recover really well, and I'm glad I can get deep in the game for the team."
Bauer will go for another triple-digit performance Wednesday night when Cleveland (35-30) visits Chicago (23-42) for the third contest of a four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field. The teams have split the series' first two games, with the Indians posting a 4-0 victory Monday and the White Sox bouncing back for a 5-1 win Tuesday.
It is not impossible for the White Sox to beat Bauer, but the challenge will be steep.
The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has walked 29 and struck out 109 in 86 innings. He has registered double-digit strikeouts in each of his past three outings and in five starts overall this season.
No wonder Indians manager Terry Francona has left Bauer in the game for 100-plus pitches in every start this year.
"I just don't see a reason (to pull him)," Francona said to the Plain Dealer. "I just feel he deserves to stay out there."
In 14 career games (12 starts) against the White Sox, Bauer is 6-2 with a 3.55 ERA. He has fanned 89 in 76 innings.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander Dylan Covey (2-1, 2.22 ERA), who has emerged as an early bright spot during a rebuilding season. The 26-year-old struggled badly as a rookie in 2017, but he has looked much better since being promoted from Triple-A Charlotte in late May. He has not allowed an earned run in either of his past two starts.
In three career games (one start) against Cleveland, Covey is 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor will try to stay hot at the plate after going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles Tuesday. The 24-year-old has a team-leading 23 doubles to go along with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Five Indians players already have double-digit home runs. Jose Ramirez leads the group with 19, while Edwin Encarnacion (16) and Lindor (14) round out the top three. Yonder Alonso and Michael Brantley have 11 apiece.
Chicago is led in homers by Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson, who each have 11.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will look for another strong game as he tries to strengthen his case to be a starter in the All-Star Game at Nationals Park. The 31-year-old is hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs, and his 25 doubles lead the club.
A second All-Star appearance would be special for Abreu.
"It will be excellent because we play this game for the fans," Abreu said via an interpreter to mlb.com. "To have the honor to represent them, and they know what I'm doing, that is really big. If that happens, I would be really happy."