After outscoring the opposition, 54-9, during a seven-game winning streak, the Indians were held to four hits Monday in a 4-0 loss to St. Louis at Busch Stadium. It's just the second time this season that they been shut out.
Right-hander John Gant, making just his fourth start of the season, held the Indians to one hit through seven innings for the win. The Indians worked him for five walks, but it usually takes hits to convert walks into runs.
And the Indians had only four of those — an infield single by Yan Gomes that bounced off third base in the second; a single by Jose Ramirez in the eighth; and singles by Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis in the ninth. Ramirez, by the way, reached base for the 32nd straight game with a first-inning walk.
Gant (2-2, 3.48) struck out four in his second career start against the Tribe. He faced them as a member of the Braves on June 27, 2016.
Cleveland's Mike Clevinger, making his first appearance against the Cardinals, didn't pitch badly, but he could have used a little help from his friends. He gave up a two-run, two-out double to Marcell Ozuna in the third for the only runs the Cards needed as they won their third straight.
Matt Carpenter singled with one out in the second. Clevinger walked Greg Garcia before retiring Jose Martinez on a fly ball to right field. Ozuna followed with a double to the fence in left center.
Clevinger (6-3, 3.03) went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked two. Clevinger was 3-0 in his last five starts.
The Cardinals made it 3-0 in the sixth on a two-out double by Kolten Wong off Zach McAllister. They added another run in the eighth on a Harrison Bader single that skipped past Kipnis at second base.
This is the Tribe's first visit to St. Louis since 2012. If they keep scoring like this, another six-year absence won't be long enough.
The lack of offense by the Indians was especially surprising because they were coming off a three-game sweep in which they outscored the Tigers, 26-3.
What it means
The Indians are 6-3 in interleague games this season. They are 15-9 against the Cardinals.
Clevinger threw 98 pitches, 60 (61 percent) for strikes. Gant threw 97 pitches, 56 (58 percent) for strikes.
Thanks for coming
The Indians and Cardinals drew 42.007 fans to Busch Stadium on Monday night. First pitch was at 9:36 p.m. with a temperature of 80 degrees. The start of the game was delayed 1 hour and 21 minutes by rain.
Right-hander Corey Kluber (11-3, 2.10) will face the Cardinals and right-hander Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.24) at 8:15 p.m. tonight. SportsTime Ohio and WLKR/FM 95.3 will carry the game.
Kluber will face the Cardinals for the second time in his career. On May 13, 2015, Kluber struck out 18 Cardinals, a franchise record for a nine-inning game. This will be Kluber's third interleague start of the season. He went 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA against the Brewers earlier in the year.
Martinez has lost three straight decisions. The Cardinals are 0-5 in his last five starts.