The Cleveland Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels in their series opener tonight by a score of 6-2 thanks to a masterful performance by Corey Kluber (6-6). The win moves the Indians to 34-26 on the season and 3.5 games ahead in the American League Central. The loss drops the Angels to 26-35 as they remain in fourth place in the American League West.
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Kluber was at the top of his game again for the Indians, hurling his second complete game of the season. He allowed two runs on just three hits. He walked only one and struck out eight on the night. Yunel Escobar was the lone guy to truly figure Kluber out on the night, going 2 for 4 and scoring both Angels runs. He led off the bottom of the 1st with a double and would eventually score on an RBI groundout by Mike Trout, who failed to get the ball out of the infield in four tries against Kluber. After Escobar’s double in the 1st inning, Kluber set down the next 12 batters in a row before allowing a pair of hits in the 6th and allowing the second run to score on a wild pitch making it 6-2.
The Indians jumped on Angels’ starter Hector Santiago (3-4), scoring four in the first and then a pair in the second to knock him out after just 1 1/3 innings. He was charged with all six Tribe runs (though just five were earned). All four runs the Tribe scored in the first inning came with two outs. Mike Napoli got the scoring started with an RBI double to left that scored Jason Kipnis. Carlos Santana would follow that up with a double of his own, driving in Napoli. Jose Ramirez continued his breakout season with an RBI single to center, scoring Santana. The Indians final run of the frame came thanks to a throwing error by Escobar at third base, allowing Juan Uribe to reach and Ramirez to score making it 4-0 Indians after a half inning.
The Indians jumped on Santiago again in the 2nd inning, thanks to a Kipnis RBI single scoring Michael Martinez, who went 2 for 4 on the night and raised his season average to .294. The Tribe added their sixth and final run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Francisco Lindor, scoring Rajai Davis who doubled earlier in the inning. The Angels bullpen was able to come in after that and keep the game from getting out of hand. They combined to throw 7 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just three hits, no walks and striking out five. However, the damage was done led by Kipnis who had a team-high three hits on the night.
Game two of the three-game series between the two clubs is set to take place tomorrow night. First pitch is at 10:05 pm with Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.88 ERA) facing off aginst Angels’ right-hander Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 5.40).