Kluber Victorious Again as Tribe Thrashes Rangers; Indians 12, Rangers 1

Cleveland’s ace Corey Kluber was dealing again and his offense provided him with a dozen runs of support as the Tribe toppled the Texas Rangers, 12-1, on Friday night.

The Indians had hits from seven of the nine men in the lineup and multi-hit efforts from six different players in putting together 17 hits against Martin Perez and the Rangers bullpen. That, coupled with another quality start from Kluber, gave the Indians exactly what they needed to end a three-game losing slide.

The bottom of the lineup did some of the heavy lifting in the balanced attack, starting in the third inning with two outs. Number nine hitter Roberto Perez singled to center with one out before Rajai Davis fouled out. Jason Kipnis doubled into the left field corner, driving in Perez with the game’s first run.

Cleveland expanded on their lead in the third on back-to-back hits to start the inning against the left-hander Perez. Mike Napoli singled to left and went to third on a double to the right-center gap by Carlos Santana. Captain Clutch, Jose Ramirez, knocked in Napoli and moved Santana to third on a grounder to short. With the infield pulled in, Brandon Guyer hit a grounder, but Santana was tagged out at home for the second out. Abraham Almonte saved the inning with a double to center to score Guyer all the way from first to make it a 3-0 game.

The lead was plenty for Kluber, who pitched around traffic all game. He stranded two in the first and one in the second before erasing a leadoff single in the third on a double play ball. Two more runners to lead off the fourth were left standing in place after Kluber retired the next three in order.

Almonte - AP Photo/LM Otero
Almonte – AP Photo/LM Otero

Kluber had his only 1-2-3 inning in the fifth before his offense got back to work and opened the game up. Napoli and Santana each singled before a double play grounder by Ramirez. Guyer was hit by a pitch and Almonte delivered his second RBI-double of the game, scoring both Napoli and Guyer to make it 5-0. Perez followed with his second hit of the game, another single to center, to score Almonte with the sixth run while ending the night for Texas’ Perez.

Texas got their lone run in the bottom of the sixth, when Adrian Beltre homered deep to left off of Kluber to make it 6-1. The Indians got the run right back in the next half inning, however, as Kipnis singled to right, moved to second on a wild pitch, tagged up on a fly to right by Francisco Lindor, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Napoli to make it 7-1.

Cleveland added two more in the eighth and three more in the ninth, as four straight reached base to start the eighth inning against reliever Dario Alvarez. Guyer was hit by a pitch for the second time, Almonte singled, Perez reached on a dribbler down the first base line, and Keone Kela relieved but plunked Davis to force in a run. After an out by Kipnis, Almonte scored on a wild pitch. The following inning, the first three reached on a walk by Santana and back-to-back singles from Ramirez and Guyer to load the bases. Almonte drove one in on a grounder to third before Perez contributed his fourth hit of the game, a two-run single to center, to plate two more and make it a 12-1 score.

After putting the first two on with a single and a walk in the bottom of the ninth, Zach McAllister struck out the next three to end it.

The Indians (73-54) once again evaded a four-game losing streak with Friday’s big win. The club kept pace with the contenders in the AL Central, as Detroit and Kansas City each won their games. The Rangers (75-54) now lead the Indians by one full game for the best record in the American League, as they are two games up in the win column.

Kluber - Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Kluber – Rick Yeatts/Getty Images


Kluber (14-8, 3.07 ERA) stepped up and pitched like an ace when the Indians needed a big win to get back on track. He worked six innings on the night, giving up just one run on five hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts. He and the bullpen combined to limit the Rangers to an 0-for-7 mark on the night with runners in scoring position as Texas left seven stranded.

Kluber has now won five straight games and continued his remarkable winning streak when provided four or more runs by his offense in a start.


The Indians’ Perez had the night he has needed at the plate, as he went 4-for-5 with four singles, three runs batted in, and one run scored. His season-best effort pushed his batting average up 42 points from .104 to .146


One batter ahead of him, Almonte set the table all night long and drove in four runs with his own three-hit game at the plate. He drove in three runs on his fourth and sixth inning doubles and added another on a groundout in the ninth.


In addition to the multi-hit games from Perez and Almonte, the Indians’ Santana had three hits and drew a walk to reach base four times in five plate appearances. Ramirez, Napoli, and Kipnis each reached with two-hit nights. Guyer had just one hit, but was plunked twice to reach three times.

Perez - Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Perez – Rick Yeatts/Getty Images


The Indians pounded the Rangers’ left-hander Perez (8-10, 4.45), who allowed ten hits in five and two-thirds innings on the night. Six runs scored off of him via the Indians hit parade. He hit one batter with a pitch and struck out two in the ball game.


With his 0-for-4 results on Friday, Carlos Beltran extended his career-worst hitting slump to 0-for-32. He struck out twice in the ball game.


The Rangers were without the services of reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who the club acquired from Milwaukee in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. The right-hander was placed on the restricted list after his early morning arrest on a drunken driving charge. Rangers GM Jon Daniels expects him to rejoin the club for Saturday’s game.

Alvarez was added to the roster from Triple-A Round Rock to take his place.


The Indians will send out Carlos Carrasco (9-6, 3.12) on Saturday night while looking to guarantee at least a split with the AL’s top club and AL West leader. The Rangers will counter with right-hander A.J. Griffin (5-3, 4.68).

Carrasco is coming off of eight innings of shutout baseball on Monday in Oakland and is 6-3 on the road this season. Griffin has not faced the Indians since 2013 and has given up at least one homer in each of his last eleven starts, including nine in his last four outings.

Game time from Arlington is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

Photo: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

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