CLEVELAND — Tuesday night ended up being a familiar theme for the Cleveland Indians when Corey Kluber is on the mound.
The reigning American League Cy Young winner had another solid outing, but the Indians offense wasn’t able to provide him with enough support as the Seattle Mariners won 3-2.
The game was played in front of 11,425 fans as Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State took place across the street at Quicken Loans Arena.
Kluber went seven innings, allowing two runs with three walks and four strikeouts. It is the second straight outing and third time this year that the right-hander has gone seven or more innings and was still charged with the loss. Kluber has gone seven or more innings in six consecutive starts.
With the loss, Kluber’s 2.46 run support average is second-lowest in the American League. This marked the fourth time in his 13 outings that the Indians have scored one run or fewer while he has been in the game.
“I don’t think you can let it get frustrating,” said Kluber, who fell to 3-7. “I think everybody is going to go through times when they don’t get run support. I think if you start to worry about that, it probably gets in the way of pitching and makes pitching harder.”
Both of Cleveland’s runs came on Yan Gomes home runs. He led off the second with a solo shot off Roenis Elias (3-3) and then led off the ninth with a homer to center off rookie Carson Smith, who was the Mariners’ fourth reliever. It is the second multi-homer game of Gomes’ career as both have come against Seattle. The one was on May 20, 2013.
Pinch-hitter Michael Bourn singled with one out, but David Murphy, another pinch-hitter, flied out and Jason Kipnis grounded out as Smith recorded his second save.
The Mariners, coming off a 2-9 homestand, won for only the second time in 10 games. Seattle has scored three runs or less in a club-record 13 straight games.
Kluber struggled early. Robinson Cano’s RBI double with one out in the first put Seattle on the board. In the second, Logan Morrison extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double.
“Early on, I thought he had to kind of fight to get into his rhythm,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Saying that, he ends up going seven, giving up two. On a lot of nights, worse, I’m sitting here bragging about how he pitched.”
HOT AT HOME
Jason Kipnis’ single in the seventh extended his hitting streak at Progressive Field to 19 games, which is tied for the longest hit streak by an Indians player since the ballpark opened in 1994. Michael Brantley hit safely in 19 straight games from April 20-May 30 last season. The second baseman has hit .398 (45-for-113) at home this season, which leads the Majors.
Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz, who leads the American League with 18 home runs, was removed from the game with back spasms in the fifth inning. Manager Lloyd McClendon said after the game that Cruz is day to day.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (back and side injuries) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this week. He threw off the mound Sunday for the second time since being injured.
Indians: RHP Scott Atchison (sprained left ankle) will pitch on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Wednesday.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker threw eight shutout innings against Cleveland at Safeco Field on May 29 in a 2-1 win. He also pitched eight innings against the Yankees on June 3, but got the loss on home runs by Mark Teixeria and Garrett Jones.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer is 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in three career starts against Seattle. He struck out 10 in seven innings on May 29, but allowed a two-run homer to Seth Smith and got the loss.