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Kluber sharp again as Tribe handles Tigers

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 29, 2018 at 4:16 PM

DETROIT — Corey Kluber is making progress in untangling his mechanics and who said the Indians need help in the outfield?

Kluber pitched 7 1/3 innings Sunday as the Indians beat Detroit, 8-1, at Comerica Park. It was Kluber's first win since July 2.

Meanwhile, while the Indians scour the big leagues for outfield help, switch-hitter Melky Cabrera had three hits, including his first home run of the season, and made two nice catches in right field.

Kluber (13-6, 2.79) lost his last two starts, allowing a combined nine earned runs and 17 hits in 11 2/3 innings against the Yankees and Pirates. He's been dealing with a sore right knee that has caused some bad habits to arise in his delivery.

He received a lubricant injection in the knee after his July 12 start against the Yankees. After his last start against the Pirates, Kluber said the knee was not an issue. On Sunday he struck out five, walked one and allowed five hits.

The Indians, after being held to one run in Saturday's 2-1 loss, showed why they're 12-4 against the Tigers this season.

They tormented Jordan Zimmerman (4-3, 4.44) yet again, burning him for five runs on six hits in three innings. He's 0-5 against the Tribe with a 11.08 ERA in his career.

Michael Brantley got the Indians started with a triple to center in the first. Jose Ramirez, in a 0-for-16 slump, delivered him with a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers countered with a run in the first as Loenys Martin opened with a bunt single, took third on Niko Goodrum's single and scored on a ground out by Nicholas Castellanos. It looked like the beginning of another poor start for Kluber, but he retired the next two batters the offense protected him the rest of the way.

Cabrera put the Tribe ahead, 2-1, with his homer to right in the second. He added two more singles in the game and is hitting .271.

Lindor pushed the lead to 3-1 in the second with a two-out single before the Tribe muscled up on the Tigers. Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer in the third to make it 5-1. It was Alonso's second homer of the series and fifth in the last eight games.

Edwin Encarnacion made it 6-1 with a two-out homer in the seventh off lefty Daniel Stumpf. It was Encarnacion's 24th homer and just his third off a left-hander.

The Indians added two more runs in eighth on a single by Encarnacion and a double by Alonso. Encarnacion has 73 RBI and Alonso 63.

Rajai Davis contributed a big game from the No. 9 spot with a triple and three doubles. It's the fourth time Davis has had three or more extra base hits in a game.

What it means

Kluber has won 14 of his last 15 decisions against AL Central opponents. Kluber's ERA in those games is 1.60 (23 earned runs in 127 1/3 innings).

The pitches

Zimmerman threw 80 pitches, 50 (63 percent) for strikes. Kluber threw 94, 70 (75 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Indians and Tigers drew 26,498 to Comerica Park on Sunday afternoon. First pitch was at 1:10 p.m. with a temperature of 78 degrees.

Up next

Rookie right-hander Shane Bieber (5-2, 4.80) will face the the Twins and right-hander Ervin Santana (0-0, 5.40) at 8:10 p.m. Monday. SportsTime Ohio and WLKR-FM 95.3 will carry the game.

Bieber will make his ninth start — and three of them will be against the Twins. He's gone 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA in the first two of those starts.

Santana, who has spent most of the season on the disabled list finger surgery, will be making his second start of the season. He's 7-11 with a 3.70 ERA in 26 career starts against the Tribe

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