CLEVELAND — The rookie continues to impress.

Oscar Mercado came to the plate in the 10th inning with the game on the line and came through on a two-strike pitch to send the Indians home as 2-1 winners in 10 innings over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Facing Reds reliever Raises Iglesias, the Indians (34-32) set the table for Mercado for the 10th. With one out, Mike Freeman walked and Leonys Martin singled to center field to put runners on the corners. The Reds then opted to intentionally walk Francisco Lindor to get to Mercado with the bases loaded.

Mercado made them pay for it. With two strikes, he lined a single to left field for his first career walk-off hit.

Brad Hand (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four to get the win.

Trevor Bauer, who had been searching for a solid start for roughly six weeks, struggled a bit with his command and had to dance out of some trouble. But, for the most part, he finally found his form in a duel with Reds starter Luis Castillo for much of the night.

Bauer finished with one earned run allowed on six hits and five walks to go with six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.

Bauer's biggest pitch of the night came in the seventh inning with the score tied 1-1. A double by Yasiel Puig and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one out for Nick Senzel, who in the fifth inning had crushed an RBI double off the wall to tie it 1-1.

Bauer induced a grounder right back to him. He quickly tossed it to catcher Roberto Perez, who stepped on the plate and fired to first base for an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play. Bauer and first baseman Carlos Santana both fist-pumped as they ran off the field with the score still tied.

The Indians struggled to solve Castillo, who is in the midst of a stellar year and entered Tuesday night sporting a 2.26 ERA. When Lindor led off the first inning with a double off the wall in center field, it seemed to be a positive indicator of what was to come. But that wasn't the case as Castillo settled down to allow just one run in six innings.

Castillo paid for only one mistake — a change-up to Santana in the fourth inning. Castillo left it over the heart of the plate and Santana belted it to right-center field for a solo home run, his team-leading 13th of the season, to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

The Indians had a golden opportunity in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie after another double by Lindor and two walks loaded the bases with one out for Jose Ramirez. But his disastrous season continued with another strikeout, and Jake Bauers struck out as well to end the inning.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.