7-inning doubleheaders debut in MLB, Reds sweep Tigers

Full Screen
1 / 5

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) celebrates after the final out of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. Cincinnati won 4-0. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT – Trevor Bauer made short work of the Detroit Tigers, capping Major League Baseball's first seven-inning doubleheader with a shutout.

Bauer threw a two-hitter in Cincinnati's 4-0 victory in the second game Sunday. The Reds beat the Tigers 4-3 in the opener. MLB recently decided to use doubleheaders of seven-inning games, which have been commonplace in the minor leagues and colleges, to help teams alleviate an expected crush of twinbills caused by weather and coronavirus-related postponements.

“It was great to win two games when we've been struggling so badly, but it was even better to sweep the first one of these in major league history,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Someone said the Hall of Fame has called for some memorabilia from today, so that's cool.”

Shogo Akiyama hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh to lift the Reds to the win in the first game.

“We've had a tough time in these first ten days, and we've especially struggled against Detroit,” Bell said. “The guys were determined to win one game and once they got that one, they wanted to get the second one.”

The Reds-Tigers game was rained out Saturday. Bauer was supposed to pitch, and he was furious when there was a delay so close to the start time. But the postponement meant he only had to throw seven innings for his shutout Sunday. He finished with 111 pitches.

“It was a constant struggle because of whatever you want to call what happened yesterday — there was a lot of doubt in my mind if I was going to be able to pitch today,” he said. “I don't prepare for a start by going on the day before and doing long toss, intense pulldowns and an intense warmup. You have to let your body recover to be ready to pitch."

Bauer wasn't confirmed as the starter for the second game until he arrived at the park.