Kluber struggles in loss to White Sox
Corey Kluber made his share of mistakes, and the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner gave up a career-high 13 hits.
Yet Cleveland manager Terry Francona said a 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday wasn’t all Kluber’s fault.
“It’s a hard way to pitch when we’re throwing up zeros as an offense,” Francona said. “I think he probably feels like he has to be perfect and that’s a hard way to pitch.”
Kluber (0-2) has a 3.90 ERA in four starts. The Indians have produced no runs for him in two of those games, and have managed just five total runs for him to date.
Kluber gave up six runs and left before getting an out in the seventh inning. He struck out six, walked one and threw two wild pitches.
“I made some mistakes and I probably didn’t do a good enough job pitching inside to keep them off balance when I did make those mistakes,” Kluber said.
Jeff Samardzija (1-1) threw six shutout innings for the victory. He had been winless in his first three starts for the White Sox.
The 30-year-old righty from nearby Merrillville, Ind., allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three.
“You get new teammates and you want to make sure you prove your worth to them,” said Samardzija, acquired in a trade with Oakland in December.
Jose Abreu homered for the second straight day. He hit a solo shot in the first inning and added a two-run double in the seventh to chase Kluber.
Samardzija gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases in the third, but got out of the jam when Brandon Moss filed to right to end the inning.
Samardzija left with the two-run lead after throwing 113 pitches.
Adam Eaton doubled to open the third, reached third on Melky Cabrera’s single and scored on Abreu’s double-play grounder to make it 2-0.
Kluber gave up another run in the sixth when his wild pitch let Avisail Garcia score.
Chicago made it 4-0 in the seventh as Cabrera singled home Micah Johnson. Abreu’s double to deep left scored Eaton and Cabrera.
NO BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Francona turned 56 on Wednesday. As a manager, his teams are 6-7 on his birthday. It was the second time in three years Cleveland has played at U.S. Cellular Field on Francona’s birthday, including a 3-2 win in 2013.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, pulled after five innings Tuesday night because of general tightness in the cold weather, said he felt fine on Wednesday. “It was maybe the first three or four (pitches) every inning. He was just tight. It was kind of ambiguous,” Francona said. “Maybe I overreacted. If that’s the case, that’s one thing I won’t apologize for.” ... IF/OF Zach Walters began his rehab assignment Wednesday at Triple-A Columbus. He played third base, going 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Indians: Off today, then send RHP Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.00 ERA) to open a three-game weekend series on Friday at Detroit. He’ll have five days’ rest since his 4-2 win in his April 18 season debut at Minnesota.