No. 1, the Indians gave him a lead. No.2, he held it.
Kluber struck out 13 over eight innings and Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer as the Indians beat Detroit, 2-0, at Progressive Field. It was 33 degrees at first pitch, one degree higher than it was Sunday and one degree lower than it was Saturday when the Indians split two games with the Royals.
Manager Terry Francona called for Andrew Miller in the ninth for the save. Kluber and Miller combined on a two-hit shutout featuring 14 strikeouts. It was Miller's first save of the season.
In Kluber's first two starts of the season, he went 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He allowed a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz in the first inning of the season opener in a 2-1 loss to Seattle. In his second start, he allowed a two-run homer to Shohei Ohtani in the fifth to erase a 2-0 lead in a game that the Indians lost, 3-2, in 13 innings to the Angels.
Kluber (1-1, 1.57) kept the ball in the park on Monday night as the Indians extended their winning streak over the Tigers to eight straight games.
Left-hander Nelson Liriano (1-1, 2.13) retired 13 of 15 batters before Yan Gomes gave the Indians their first hit on a single to left with two out in the fifth. Zimmer followed with a 417-foot homer to right for a 2-0 lead. Zimmer was 0-for-5 against lefties going into the at-bat.
Zimmer hit a 1-1 slider from Liriano for his first homer of the season. The slider crossed that plate at 84 mph.
The Indians threatened to add to the lead in the seventh after Liriano left. Buck Farmer started the inning and allowed a leadoff double to Rajai Davis. Farmer retired Gomes, but left the game with left hip spasms after walking Zimmer.
Davis and Zimmer attempted a double steal. They were originally called safe, but the Tigers challenged Zimmer's safe call at second base. After a review of 1:05 the call on the field was overturned and Zimmer was out.
The threat ended with Drew VerHagen struck out Erik Gonzalez.
Liriano allowed two runs on three his in six innings. He struck out four and walked three. He is 5-7 in his career against the Tribe.
The Tigers never really threatened Kluber over eight innings. They had just three base runners against him, never more than one in an inning. He retired the last eight Tigers he faced to improve to 9-7 lifetime against them.
What it means
Kluber's 40 double-digit strikeouts games rank him fifth among active pitchers. Ten times Kluber has struck out 13 or more batters in a game.
Liriano threw 97 pitches, 59 (61 percent) for strikes. Kluber threw 103 pitches, 72 (70 percent) for strikes.
Jose Ramirez's single in the sixth inning gave him 500 hits for his career. Francisco Lindor and Ramirez have the most hits on the Indians since 2016 at 367 and 365, respectively.
Thanks for coming
The Tigers and Indians drew 9,843 fans to frigid Progressive Field on Monday night. First pitch was 6:11 p.m. with a temperature of 33 degrees.
Josh Tomlin (0-1, 24.00) will face the Tigers and left-hander Matt Boyd (0-1, 1.50) at 6:10 p.m. tonight. SportsTime Ohio and WLKR 95.3 FM will carry the game.
Tomlin is coming off a bad start against the Angels in his 2018 debut. He allowed eight runs on eight hits in three innings in a 13-2 loss. Eight of the hits were home runs. He is 7-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 16 games against the Tigers.
Boyd, like Tomlin, will be making his second start of the season. He lost his debut against the Royals, 1-0, throwing six strong innings. He's 1-2 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts against the Indians.