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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | April 18, 2014

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Kluber Shines and Bats Come Alive to Snap Streak; Indians 5, Rangers 2

Kluber Shines and Bats Come Alive to Snap Streak; Indians 5, Rangers 2

| On 11, Jun 2013

Cleveland’s current eight game losing streak has not been kind to the starting rotation. All eight of the Tribe’s losses were hung on the shoulders of the starters; they posted a 7.59 ERA, a .328 average against and tossed only 5.1 innings per game.

So when Corey Kluber threw eight innings and allowed only one run Tuesday night, Cleveland breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Kluber and the Indians beat the Texas Rangers and Derek Holland by a score of 5-2, and ended the poor starting pitching that has plagued the Tribe over their eight-game skid.

Ryan Raburn’s double into the corner in left field led to the Tribe’s first run of the game. Carlos Santana hit a deep fly ball to the warning track to move Raburn to third. Mark Reynolds then singled to right to give the Indians just their fourth lead in their seven-game losing streak, 1-0.

Holland’s 73rd pitch of the night was off-speed and high to Drew Stubbs in the top of the fifth. Stubbs’ single to left scored Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, who led off the inning with two singles of their own—Holland tried to pick off Gomes at second and air-mailed the throw into center to put both runners is scoring position.

The 74th pitch for the Ranger’s starter hit Jason Kipnis in the right elbow, and his 75th was sent into center off the bat of Nick Swisher. The Swisher single scored Stubbs from third to make the Cleveland lead 4-0.

Cleveland forced Holland (5-3) out of the game after 85 pitches and 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season. But, with the bases loaded and one out, Kyle McClellan—Holland’s relief—threw one pitch to the Indian’s Reynolds that resulted in an inning-ending double play, putting a stop to the bleeding.

Texas did not get a runner past first base until the sixth inning.

Double plays helped end threats in both the first and second innings; Kluber sat down the Rangers in order in the third and the fourth; and Craig Gentry grounded into a fielder’s choice in the fifth to give Kluber 11 groundball outs.

Kluber walked Leury Garcia and Elvis Andrus to start the sixth. With runners on first and second, David Murphy flied out to left. Standing on second, Garcia tried to tag and take third but was doubled up by Michael Brantley’s throw from left. Then, Lance Berkman grounded out making it 12 groundball outs for Kluber on the night.

A walk to Kipnis, followed by a stolen base, a ground out by Swisher and a wild pitch by McClellen netted Cleveland another run, making it 5-0 in the seventh.

Texas plated a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to avoid being shut out.

With one out, Jurickson Profar, hitting for Garcia, singled to right. Andrus grounded out to the shortstop after, but Profar escaped falling victim to a fourth double play and stopped on second. Murphy doubled to center to bring Profar home, cutting the Indian’s lead to 5-1.

Joe Smith relieved Kluber in the ninth. After dealing a quick strikeout to Adrian Beltre, AJ Pierzynski smoked a low-and-inside pitch to the right field seats, making the score 5-2.

The threat of a Ranger rally fell short, though, when Chris McGuiness flied out to center and Leonys Martin struck out looking.

Tribe newcomer John McDonald (acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday) was the only Indian to not record a hit—although he didn’t have an at bat, either.

Kluber (4-4) has never walked more than four batters in an outing—he averages 2.3 walks per nine innings of work (30 BB/116.2IP) in his career—and Tuesday was no exception. Kluber gave up six hits and three walks, while fanning three Rangers.

The Tribe will look to extend Tuesday’s win into a winning streak Wednesday in Arlington. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 5.03 ERA) will take the mound against the Rangers Nick Tepesch (3-5, 3.92 ERA).

Photo: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images