CLEVELAND (AP) — Eric Lauer no-hit Cleveland into the sixth inning a day after Milwaukee threw a history-making no-no, his teammates belted five homers and the Brewers beat the Indians 11-1 on Sunday.
Just hours after Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader combined on the record ninth no-hitter in the majors this season — and Cleveland’s record third time being no-hit this year — Lauer threatened to make it two in a row.
“After the one last night, I said something to one of my buddies,” Lauer recalled. “‘You think there’s ever been back to back no-hitters?’”
Lauer, a native of Northeast Ohio, didn’t give up a hit until Ryan Lavarnway singled to center with one out in the sixth. Lavarnway, the Indians’ backup catcher, lined a 1-2 pitch into center field and was relieved to finally see a ball land safely.
“Yeah, I think it was about 14 innings, (which) is about 13 innings too long for us to go hitless,” Lavarnway said. “The Brewers have a very talented staff. Good job for them. I’m glad we finally got the hit.”
Óscar Mercado followed with a single and Myles Straw’s single scored Lavarnway. Brewers manager Craig Counsell removed Lauer, who received a nice ovation as he walked to the dugout. Brad Boxberger struck out the next two hitters.
Lauer (6-5) allowed one run and three hits while throwing 88 pitches in 5 1/3 innings.
Kolten Wong and Avisaíl García each homered twice. Manny Piña also connected, and the Brewers moved closer to the NL Central title with a three-game sweep.
Lauer attended Midview High School, located about 30 miles west of Cleveland, and pitched at Kent State. He wasn’t scheduled to pitch in the series but was moved up when scheduled starter Brandon Woodruff came down with a stomach flu Saturday.
The late rotation adjustment meant Lauer had to spread the word quickly to family members and friends that he would be starting.
“Even with it being so last minute, I still had a solid gathering I think,” he said. “It wasn’t as much as it probably would have been, but still a good amount, for sure.”
Lauer walked Harold Ramirez with one out in the second but picked him off first base. He retired the next 11 hitters before giving up his first hit.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was busy in the third on drives to the wall on consecutive batters. Bradley got in front of the wall and camped under leadoff hitter Owen Miller’s high fly ball. Bradley followed that with a leaping catch on Lavarnway’s drive that appeared to be headed for the wall.
Wong homered on the fourth pitch of the game from Aaron Civale. García and Piña hit home runs in the third. Wong homered to lead off the eighth and García hit a two-run shot that landed in the left field bleachers and traveled 464 feet.
Civale (10-4) allowed seven runs in three innings. The right-hander made his second start since missing six weeks because of a sprained middle finger on his right hand.
The Brewers’ sweep was truly in convincing fashion. Milwaukee scored 24 runs and allowed seven hits in the series.
Lauer was born in 1995, the season the Indians reached the World Series for the first time since 1954. He has several memories about attending games at the ballpark growing up.
“There’s a picture of me actually when I was a baby and I’m just decked out in Cleveland Indians gear, head to toe,” he said. “For some reason I was thinking of that picture. It’s a cool way for it to come full circle.”
Wong was impressed with García’s power display, especially his eighth-inning blast that landed halfway up the bleachers that sit in front of the Progressive Field scoreboard. He joked the Brewers might reconnect with the baseball when they start a three-game series at Comerica Park on Tuesday.
“I think maybe it’s probably in Detroit right now,” Wong said. “I heard it’s about a 20-minute flight so it’s probably around the same distance.”
Brewers: 1B Rowdy Tellez (strained right patella) was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday. He injured his knee running the bases Saturday and underwent an MRI.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (strained right shoulder) will throw 40 to 45 pitches on a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Columbus. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner has been sidelined since June 13.
Brewers: Milwaukee opens a three-game series in Detroit on Tuesday after being off Monday. RHP Freddy Peralta (9-4, 2.69 ERA) will start the opener.
Indians: Cleveland is off Monday. RHP Triston McKenzie (4-6, 4.44 ERA) and LHP Logan Allen (1-6, 6.86 ERA) are scheduled to start a day-night doubleheader Tuesday in Minnesota.