By Alex Hooper | 92.3 The Fan

CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – “Trevor Bauer now entering the game” being said late in a game has become something that is not completely out of the norm over the last few years.

Whether it has been the end of a 19-inning game in Toronto or Game 7 of the World Series, Bauer remains flexible on when he will pitch.

The right-hander finished the nightcap of Thursday’s double-header, tossing two-thirds of an inning on the back end of 2 2/3 frames from fellow starter Mike Clevinger. Both were because Manager Terry Francona used five relievers in Game 1 after Carlos Carrasco labored through five innings.

With limited arms available, Clevinger’s start had already bumped in favor of bullpen relief. Ryan Merritt was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, but only managed to get through 3 2/3.

Luckily, the proactive approach put Francona in a position to have Clevinger in long relief, while Bauer was throwing a side-session anyway.

“We had talked to Trev, we walked through with Clev – so everybody kind of knew,” Francona said. “Trev was throwing his side late and with the idea that he could come into the game. So again, the second game didn’t work out, but we didn’t overuse anybody and we’re in pretty good shape going forward.”

Bauer is scheduled to start Saturday, and with just nine pitches to his name on Thursday, that will still be the plan.

“Trevor came to us before, we were going to go talk to him, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Francona added. “That’s a part of what makes this group fun. They’re willing and most of the time, able.”

Corey Kluber is slated to start Friday against the Kansas City Royals, with Bauer on Saturday and Danny Salazar closing things out on Sunday.

Sigh of Relief

All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez left game one after being hit by a pitch in the wrist, looking as if he was in heavy pain afterwards.

Ramirez wound up being available for Game 2 after x-rays came back negative, and a trip to the disabled list seems unlikely.

“He’s OK,” Francona said with a sigh. “I think it hit him…where there’s a nerve where he was feeling it pretty good.”

Big Bat

The Indians lost their first game with Jay Bruce in the starting lineup since acquiring him on August 9th, bringing their record to 6-1 in that stretch. Bruce also hit his first home run in an Indians uniform in that game, the only Tribe run prior to the 7th.

While it was his first big fly, the heat Bruce has brought to the team’s lineup has been palpable. The newest Tribe bat now has six runs batted in seven starts, and has a hit in each game, going 10-of-26 (.385) with five walks.

Bruce was able to be inserted immediately into the three-hole in the absence of regular three-hitters Ramirez and Michael Brantley.

The slugger gives the homer-shy Indians offense a nice stack of hitters in the middle of the lineup when fully healthy and is proving to be a perfect addition.

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