Kluber shuts out Orioles for Indians’ sixth straight win
BALTIMORE -- Corey Kluber had just about everything working on Monday night, and the Baltimore Orioles paid the price.
Kluber threw a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts, and Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana both homered as the Cleveland Indians stretched their winning streak to six games with a 12-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The right-hander shut down Baltimore, allowing only three base runners all night. The Orioles never got a runner into scoring position as Kluber (6-2) did not walk anyone and mixed his pitches and locations skillfully.
“(I was) just commanding pitches, really,” Kluber said. “I threw the fastball (to) both sides of the plate, and I think that opened up for the off-speed stuff when I needed to throw that.”
This was his second shutout of the season, fifth of his career and Kluber’s 12th complete game. He now has won three straight starts.
His performance left the Orioles and manager Buck Showalter shaking their heads. Kluber threw 108 pitches -- 80 of which were strikes.
“There’s a reason why he won the Cy Young,” Showalter said. “Any time you can cut the ball, two-seam it, move the other way, then slow you down with something soft, (it’s tough). He had everything working.”
The Indians (37-31) entered the game leading the American League in doubles (133) and banged out seven more -- along with a triple and the two homers -- to give Kluber more than enough offensive support.
The Indians have scored 52 runs in their six-game winning streak. They finished with 17 hits, scoring four in the fourth and four in the fifth plus three more in the sixth and one in the ninth.
It even could have been worse as the Indians stranded 13.
“We did a lot of good things,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We scored and then we kept at it and put our foot on the gas.”
Cleveland knocked out top Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (7-6) after 4 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs and six hits -- four doubles and a homer among them -- as the Indians made him throw 100 pitches.
Bundy simply could not throw strikes the way he’s done it for much of this season.
“I wasn’t commanding the ball at all tonight,” Bundy said. “Also, just poor execution.”
Austin Jackson and Santana led the Indians with three RBIs apiece. Jackson contributed a two-run double plus a bloop run-scoring single, and Santana added a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly.
Lonnie Chisenhall also drove in two runs and Jose Ramirez, picked as American League Player of the Week on Monday, added two doubles and a triple in a 3-for-6 night. Ramirez set a team record with his first double as he has hit doubles now in seven straight games.
Kipnis had a solo homer in the fifth, the same inning as Santana’s two-run blast.
The Orioles (34-35) now have allowed at least five runs in 16 straight games.
After a 29-minute rain delay before the first pitch, the Indians took command early thanks to back-to-back, four-run innings in the fourth and fifth, which gave them an 8-0 lead.
Ramirez started everything with his one-out double off Bundy in the fourth, and Edwin Encarnacion followed with another two-bagger for a 1-0 lead. Chisenhall then made it three straight doubles and drove in the second run.
Later in the inning, Jackson lined a two-run double to left that gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead.
Kipnis then made it 5-0 when he led off the fifth with a long homer to right.
Vidal Nuno replaced Bundy two batters later and allowed the two-run homer to Santana plus Jackson’s bloop RBI double for the 8-0 lead in the fifth.
“We’ve been doing a good job with driving the ball when we get out pitch,” Jackson said. “It’s contagious; one guy does it, it kind of seems like it trickles down in the order.”
NOTES: SS J.J. Hardy was officially diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist, and he should return in 4-6 weeks if everything goes well, said manager Buck Showalter. ... The Orioles moved back LHP Zach Britton’s rehab assignment to Tuesday night at Aberdeen (short-season team) because of the rain on Monday. ... Cleveland LF Michael Brantley was put on the 10-day disabled list (right ankle sprain). ... Indians DH Edwin Encarnacion’s fourth-inning double was career hit No. 1,500.