Corey Kluber is the Winning Pitcher of 2016 All-Star Game
While he may have been denied the start, Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Corey Kluber had the last laugh as the winning pitcher for the All-Star Game Tuesday night in San Diego as the American League won the game 4-2.
Kluber earned the win after pitching a scoreless 1-2-3 top of the 2nd inning with two groundouts and a strikeout. He came in for starter Chris Sale who had allowed a solo home run to Chicago Cubs’ slugger Kris Bryant in the top of the 1st inning to put the American League down 1-0. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the American League scored three runs thanks to a pair of home runs from some Kansas City Royals’ sluggers. Eric Hosmer tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run to left off National League starter Johnny Cueto. A couple batters later Salvador Perez gave the American League a 3-1 lead on a two-run home run to left.
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The American League never surrendered the league, adding a fourth run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Hosmer, who would go on to win MVP honors thanks to his two-hit, two-RBI performance. The National League would make it 4-2 in the top of the 4th inning on an RBI single by Miami Marlins’ outfielder Marcell Ozuna of Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez. That would be all the scoring for either side as defense and pitching prevailed the rest of the way although there weren’t too many clean innings by the pitchers, making Kluber’s 1-2-3 performance all the more impressive.
Fellow Indian Francisco Lindor came on in the bottom of the 5th inning as a pinch hitter for starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Lindor went 0 for 2 in the game with a pop out and groundout, the latter of which came with the bases loaded and two outs. The win for Kluber was the first by an Indians’ pitcher in the All-Star game since 1998 when a young Bartolo Colon won the game. Amazing in 2016, Colon is not only still playing but was on the National League All-Star team this year, representing the New York Mets (though he did not pitch in the game).
Corey Kluber joins Colon, Bob Feller (1946), and Mel Harder (1934) as the only Cleveland Indians pitchers to win the All-Star game. The win was especially fitting as it came in San Diego, where Kluber began his professional career after being drafted by the Padres back in 2007. The Indians acquired Kluber from the Padres on July 31st, 2010 in a three-team deal that would see Jake Westbrook dealt from the Indians to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Padres getting former Indian Ryan Ludwick from the Cardinals. Needless to say, the Indians won that trade…
Kluber’s win tonight also helped get the American League home-field advantage in the World Series this year, something that could be huge for a Tribe club that holds a 6.5-game lead in the division heading into the second half…