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Bad night across the board for Tribe

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 23, 2018 at 11:16 PM

CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber wasn't at his best Monday night. The same can be said for his defense and the weather.

Kluber, making his first start since he had a lubricant injected in his right knee following a July 12 start, allowed seven runs, three of which were earned, in a 7-0 loss to the streaking Pirates at soggy Progressive Field in a game that was called after six innings because of rain.

The Pirates have won 10 straight and 12 of their last 13. The Indians have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time this season.

In a game delayed three times by rain, Kluber was victimized by his defense as the Pirates scored four unearned runs with two out in the second inning. Kluber was required to get five outs in the inning, which is never a good thing for a pitcher, especially one with a sore right knee.

Colin Moran singled with one out in the fourth. When Josh Bell followed with a double-play grounder to Jason Kipnis at second base, the inning should have been over. Kipnis, however, bobbled the ball and his flip to Francisco Lindor at second resulted in just one out.

Still, Kluber should have been out of the inning when David Freese skied a ball above the mound. Kluber got out of the way as Jose Ramirez rushed in from third and Yonder Alonso did the same from first. The ball clanged off Alonso's glove for his sixth error as Bell went to third.

It's hard to tempt the baseball gods that many times and not pay a penalty. Kluber (12-6, 2.88) paid a stiff one as Josh Harrison, sidelined since July 15 because of a sore left hamstring, drove an 0-2 pitch into the left field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.

The fifth out proved to be elusive as Jordy Mercer doubled, Corey Dickerson walked and Starling Marte made it 4-0 with a single to extend his hitting streak to career-high 16 games.

Kluber in his last seven starts is 2-4 with a 7.07 ERA.

Trevor Williams (8-7, 4.11) went six innings for the win. Williams, facing the Indians for first time, allowed four hits with two walks and a strikeout. He's 3-0 against the AL Central this year with previous wins against the White Sox and Tigers.

Kluber, following a 27-minute delay in the third, came out for the fourth and allowed three more runs. All three runs, just like four runs in the second, scored with two out. Marte singled home one run and Gregory Polanco tripled off the wall in left center to bring home two more.

What it means

Kluber is 13-7 in interleague play, but this year he's 1-3 with a 7.36 ERA in four starts. Kluber has lost to Milwaukee, St. Louis and Pittsburgh. His lone win came against the Brewers.

The pitches

Kluber threw 72 pitches, 49 (68 percent) for strikes. Williams threw 84 pitches, 54 (64 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Pirates and Indians drew 24,925 waterlogged fans to Progressive Field on Monday night. First pitch was at 8:08 p.m. with a temperature of 75 degrees.

The start of the game was delayed 55 minutes by rain. It was delayed for 55 minutes in the bottom of the third inning. It was delayed again at 10:19 p.m. following the end of the sixth inning until it was called.

Up next

Rookie Shane Bieber (5-1, 3.53) is scheduled to start against right-hander Joe Musgrove (3-4, 4.08) on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.

Bieber was optioned to Columbus so he could keep pitching over the All-Star break, which means he'll have to be officially recalled before Tuesday night's game. Bieber's last big-league start was on July 13 when he pitched seven innings in a win over the Yankees.

Musgrove will be making his 10th start on Tuesday. He's coming off a no-decision against the Brewers in which he pitched 7 2/3 innings. Musgrove, 0-1 in his career against the Tribe, opened the year on the disabled list because of a sore right shoulder.

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