CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer entered Wednesday riding a bit of a roller coaster of recent outings.

Luckily for the Indians, Bauer was again the best version of himself, and the Tribe went on to secure a 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.

Bauer had produced two gems and two duds in his previous four starts, and he added one to the former column against the Royals, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out 12 in 6 2/3 innings. It was his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season and the first since May 11.

Bauer (6-6) seemed frustrated when he was unable to finish the seventh inning after a walk to Cam Gallagher led to his being pulled from the game at 127 pitches, but he received a loud standing ovation as he walked off the mound. He tipped his cap to the home crowd just before entering the dugout.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Humberto Arteaga grounded a ball that got by a diving Bobby Bradley at first base with two outs. Cam Gallagher then singled to right and Billy Hamilton followed with a bloop that landed a few feet fair and a few inches between three fielders for a weakly hit RBI double.

Aside from that, Bauer was in control of the Royals lineup.

"I thought from the first pitch of the game, he looked so much more like Trevor," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Crisp, all his pitches [were] crisp, [he held his] velocity. I thought there were periods in the game where he almost maybe felt too good. You know, he started heaving a couple up there, but I’ll tell you what, man, when you’ve got a guy who can pitch over 120 and that’s the hardest pitch of the day, that’s saying something.”

The Indians (44-36) gave Bauer an early lead. Francisco Lindor opened the first inning with a single and stole second base. Carlos Santana singled to left to send Lindor to third, and Jason Kipnis' sacrifice fly to center field brought him home.

Lindor then led off the third inning with a double to right field and scored on Oscar Mercado's RBI single to right field. It was the 12th time in 13 games, and the fifth game in a row, Mercado has recorded at least one hit.

In the fourth, the Indians added a couple insurance runs on a couple of swings. Jake Bauers, back in the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury, broke an 0-for-15 skid when he launched a solo home run down the right-field line to make it 3-0. A few batters later, Tyler Naquin drilled his second home run in as many days and the sixth this season.

In the Royals ninth, Lucas Duda hit a solo home run and Alex Gordon added a pinch-hit RBI single off reliever Nick Wittgren that cut the Indians' lead to 5-3. Wittgren recovered, though, to strike out Hamilton and Whit Merrifield to end the game.

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