Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – After winning the AL Cy Young in 2014,
Corey Kluber will finish April without a win.
Kluber was charged with six runs — four earned — in 6 1/3 innings as the
Kansas City Royals opened their three-game series against the Cleveland
Indians with a 6-2 win.
After giving up individual runs in the second and third, Kluber (0-3) was
handed a fresh slate when Mike Aviles hit a two-run home run in the fifth, but
he immediately gave the lead back in the next half inning. The game unraveled
in the seventh when Aviles’ error extended the frame and led to two more runs.
Mike Moustakas went 4-for-5, Alex Gordon drove in two runs and Jarrod Dyson
stole three bases. Starter Jason Vargas (2-1) stumbled through five innings
with a career high-tying five walks but limited Cleveland to two runs.
Kluber retired his sixth straight batter when he struck out Lorenzo Cain in
the sixth, but a walk and a single put runners on the corners. Gordon doubled
home Eric Hosmer, and Kluber was able to avoid further damage by inducing a
ground-ball double play after walking Salvador Perez.
“You don’t want to give in to a guy like Kluber until you get to two strikes,”
Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You got to get into battle mode and put a good
swing on it like Moose did all night long and Gordie, too.”
Moustakas’ seventh-inning single extended Kansas City’s lead to 4-2, and a
single by Cain ended Kluber’s night. Nick Hagadone nearly got out of
the jam by striking out Hosmer, but Aviles booted a ground ball from
Kendrys Morales, allowing Moustakas to score and set up another RBI hit from
After Vargas departed, the deep Royals bullpen shut down Cleveland. Ryan
Madson, Franklin Morales, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis each tossed a
scoreless inning to wrap up the game.
“Right now, the way we’re scoring, it’s not in bunches,” said Cleveland
manager Terry Francona. “You’re going to have to pay attention to detail and
scrap for everything.”
Cleveland had a chance to jump on Vargas early but could not take advantage of
its opportunities. He had not allowed a runner to reach base in the first
inning all season prior to issuing back-to-back walks to Aviles and Michael
Brantley. Carlos Santana’s swinging bunt moved runners into scoring position,
but Gordon caught a hard line drive off the bat of Ryan Raburn.
In the third inning, Vargas again walked Aviles and Brantley with one out,
but Santana grounded into a double play to end the inning. Cleveland finally
got on the board in the fifth when Jason Kipnis’ single was followed by
Aviles’ laser over the left-field wall for his second home run of the season.
Cleveland is 0-11 when allowing 3-plus runs … Kluber’s five strikeouts gave
him 500 for his career in 80 appearances, making him the second fastest in
Cleveland history to hit that milestone behind Herb Score, who did it in 68
games … Earlier Monday, Kansas City announced Edinson Volquez would drop the
appeal of his suspension for his actions in the Royals’ brawl against the
White Sox last week.