Kluber Stops Cincinnati, Cleveland Wins 7-1
CLEVELAND (AP) – It’s easy to see why the Cleveland Indians get a positive vibe whenever Corey Kluber takes the mound.
“Klubes has pitched to the point where, heck yeah, you better play with confidence,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the league.”
Kluber (12-6) continued his dominant stretch by allowing one run over 7 1-3 innings in Monday night’s 7-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Kluber, who hasn’t lost since June 30, held the Reds to six hits, struck out seven and walked two in winning his fifth straight decision.
“I started out not so great with my command, but I was able to reel it in and had better command in the middle of the game,” he said.
The only bad news came in the eighth when Kluber’s 17-inning scoreless streak ended on Brayan Pena’s RBI double off reliever Nick Hagadone. That also ended the right-hander’s stretch of not allowing an earned run at 25 innings.
Jay Bruce started the eighth with a single. After Todd Frazier struck out, Devin Mesoraco’s single ended Kluber’s night after 110 pitches.
Francona pulled Kluber, who received a standing ovation from the 18,696 fans. The crowd groaned when Pena’s hit pushed a run across the plate.
“Every starter wants to go deep into the game, but in that situation when it was still close, and my pitch count was up,” Kluber said. “I understand.”
Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer in the fourth off Alfredo Simon (12-7). Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer in the eighth as Cleveland won its fourth straight.
The series between the intrastate rivals features teams trying to remain in playoff contention. The win lifted the Indians (57-55) two games over .500 for the first time since July 22. The Reds are 5-12 since the All-Star break and fell to .500 (56-56).
Kluber stopped Seattle on a three-hitter Wednesday and took a perfect game into the seventh inning against Kansas City on July 24 in his previous start, with the Royals scoring an unearned run in the eighth.
Kluber’s only loss in his brilliant stretch came in a 1-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“You go through periods where you have things working and even when you’re not at your best, you’re still good,” Francona said. “That’s kind of where Klubes is getting.”
Michael Brantley added an RBI groundout in the first inning and a run-scoring single in the fifth.
John Axford pitched the final 1 2-3 innings for his 10th save.
Cincinnati manager Bryan Price praised Kluber’s performance. “As advertised,” Price said. “I know he’s a tremendous pitcher, we all knew that coming in. He did the things that we knew about. He’s very good.”
Center fielder Michael Bourn will begin a minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Tuesday. He hasn’t played since July 5 because of a recurring left hamstring injury.
Reds: Second baseman Brandon Phillips is traveling with the team as he continues to rehab from a torn ligament in his left thumb. Price said Phillips, who hasn’t played since July 9, still can’t swing a bat.
Indians: Designated hitter Nick Swisher is optimistic his strained right wrist won’t sideline him for more than a couple of days. “I’ve been through stuff like this before,” he said. “It’s just a little tight.” He injured the wrist in his last at-bat Sunday against Texas’ Yu Darvish.
Reds: All-Star right-hander Johnny Cueto (12-6) will start Tuesday. He leads the NL in innings pitched (162 2-3) and opponents’ batting average (.183) and is second in ERA (2.05) and strikeouts (186). Cueto is 3-0 in five career starts against Cleveland.
Indians: Right-hander Josh Tomlin (5-7) will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start Tuesday. He was sent to the minors on July 26. Tomlin hasn’t won since pitching a one-hitter on June 28. He’s 1-1 in three career appearances against Cincinnati.
ORIOLES 7, NATIONALS 3
WASHINGTON (AP) – Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs, J.J. Hardy had four hits and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals in a duel between neighboring first-place teams.
Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who trailed 3-1 before rallying for their eighth win in 11 games.
Hardy and Ryan Flaherty opened the seventh with successive doubles off Tanner Roark (11-7) to tie it at 3. Delmon Young followed with an RBI single – making him 9 for 17 as a pinch-hitter this season – and Adam Jones capped the uprising with a run-scoring single.
Kevin Gausman (6-3) pitched six innings.
The game was a makeup of a rainout on July 8. A sellout crowd of 42,181 – many of them wearing Oriole orange – showed up to watch teams located just 38 miles apart on I-295.
YANKEES 2, TIGERS 1
NEW YORK (AP) – Brandon McCarthy won his fourth start in a row with a gritty effort, and the New York Yankees took the first of three straight matchups against Detroit’s Cy Young Award winners, beating Max Scherzer and the Tigers.
Brian McCann hit an RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury had a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Center fielder Ezequiel Carrera made a sensational catch on Ellsbury’s deep drive with the bases loaded.
McCarthy (4-0) allowed five hits and an unearned run in 5 2-3 innings. The Yankees have won each of his five starts since being acquired from Arizona. David Robertson was perfect in the ninth for his 30th save.
Scherzer (13-4) gave up nine hits over seven innings in losing for the first time since June 17, a span of eight starts.
Newly acquired David Price starts Tuesday night for Detroit and Justin Verlander pitches Wednesday night.
GIANTS 4, METS 3
NEW YORK (AP) – Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs and got three hits, including an RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the San Francisco Giants over the New York Mets.
The Giants took three of four at Citi Field. The Mets lost a home series for the first time since June 10-12 against Milwaukee.
Sandoval hit a two-run double in the third, then delivered again in the ninth off Jenrry Mejia (5-4).
Sergio Romo (5-3) got the win with one scoreless inning and Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.