Tuesday, August 05, 2014
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Indians roll past Reds for their fourth straight win

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[August 05, 2014]  CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are on a roll, and so is their ace, Corey Kluber.

The 28-year-old right-hander made another outstanding start, and Lonnie Chisenhall and Yan Gomes homered to lead the Indians to a 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night at Progressive Field.

The Indians (57-55) earned their fourth win in a row. The Reds (56-56) dropped back to the .500 mark.

Kluber, who didn't allow an earned run while tossing complete games in each of his previous two starts, allowed one run on six hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings Monday. In his past six starts, Kluber (12-6) is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA. Right-hander John Axford recorded the final five outs for his 10th save of the season.

"Even when he's not at his best, he's still good," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona of Kluber. "He's becoming one of the best pitchers in the league."

Kluber has exceeded his win total from last year when he was 11-5.


"I started out not so great with my command, but I was able to reel it in and had better command in the middle of the game," said Kluber, who at one point in the middle innings retired 11 men in a row.

"He throws hard, and has late movement on his pitches in both directions," said Francona. "That makes it tough on hitters and that's a huge part of what he does."

"He was as advertised," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "I know he's a tremendous pitcher, we all knew that coming in. However, we did have five runners on in the first three innings. But the kid threw a nice ballgame and did the things that we knew about. He's very good."

Cincinnati broke up the Indians' shutout bid after Kluber exited with runners at first and second in the eighth inning. Reds first baseman Brayan Pena doubled off left-hander Nick Hagadone, bringing home right fielder Jay Bruce and cutting Cleveland's lead to 5-1.

"Every starter wants to go deep into the game, but in that situation when it was still close, and my pitch count was up, I understand," said Kluber, who threw 110 pitches.

The run snapped Kluber's streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings. It also snapped his streak of 25 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon (12-7) pitched five innings and gave up five runs on six hits with one strikeout and three walks.

"I just got behind the count, and when I tried to throw strikes, they took advantage of it," said Simon, who after going 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in the first half of the season, is 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA since the All-Star break.

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The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first. Second baseman Jason Kipnis led off with a double into the gap in left-center field. Left fielder Mike Aviles' sacrifice bunt moved Kipnis to second. Kipnis then scored on a groundout to first by center fielder Michael Brantley.

Simon held the Indians scoreless in the next two innings, but the Indians struck again in the fourth. Brantley led off with a single, and first baseman Carlos Santana followed with a single, moving Brantley to second.

Chisenhall, Cleveland's third baseman, belted Simon's first pitch over the wall in center field for a three-run homer. Chisenhall's 11th home run of the season gave the Indians a 4-0 lead.

Cleveland added to its lead in the fifth inning when shortstop Jose Ramirez led off with a single and stole second base. Kipnis walked, and the runners moved up to second and third on a groundout by Aviles. Brantley then followed with a single, scoring Ramirez to make it 5-0.

"It's nice to get an early lead like that, and then to add on, that keeps the pressure on the other team," said Kluber.

The Indians added two insurance runs in the eighth inning when right fielder David Murphy doubled and rode home on a home run by Gomes off right-hander Carlos Contreras. It was the 15th homer of the year for the Cleveland catcher.

NOTES: Indians OF Michael Bourn could be sent on a minor league rehab assignment sometime this week. Bourn landed on the disabled list July 6 due to a strained left hamstring. ... Indians DH Nick Swisher did not play Monday due to a strained right wrist, which he injured taking a swing in Sunday's game. Swisher said he hopes to return to the lineup in the next day or two. ... Reds OF Billy Hamilton has 43 stolen bases, the most by a Reds player since Deion Sanders had 56 in 1997.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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