Kansas City at Cleveland

Kansas City
W: C. Kluber (2-2) L: B. Chen (1-2)
HR: KC - None   CLE - None

Kluber stifles Royals for first complete game; Indians cruise

CBSSports.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber stayed stone-faced, maintaining the same stoic look in the clubhouse that he had for nine innings on the mound.

Only when prodded by an Indians teammate did Kluber crack.

''Did you smile after the game?'' pitcher Justin Masterson yelled to Kluber.

''I did,'' he said. ''Only when I saw you.''

Kluber had everyone in Cleveland's clubhouse smiling after he struck out a career-high 11 and pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game, leading the Indians to a 5-1 win over the Royals on Thursday.

Kluber (2-2) didn't walk a batter, and his rare outing allowed Cleveland manager Terry Francona to give some needed rest to his bullpen.

''That was really fun to watch,'' Francona said. ''He had everything working. His fastball was going both ways, change-up, location. He worked ahead and he threw a ton of strikes. That was really impressive.''

Kluber is the first Cleveland pitcher to throw a complete game while recording 11 strikeouts, no walks or earned runs since Len Barker's perfect game in 1981.

''It was nice,'' said Kluber, who couldn't remember the last time he pitched nine innings. ''I really wasn't trying to make a bigger deal out of it than going out there and getting three more outs. Maybe that's why it worked out.''

David Murphy and Asdrubal Cabrera drove in two runs apiece in the Indians' five-run fifth off Bruce Chen (1-2), who controlled Cleveland's lineup for four innings.

The Indians have won four of five to get back to .500.

The Royals scored an unearned run off Kluber in the seventh when Omar Infante singled and scored when Indians first baseman Nick Swisher made a half-hearted attempt at Mike Moustakas' grounder, which got by him for an error and rolled all the way into the right-field corner.

Other than that, Kansas City's hitters were unable to do much against Kluber, whose previous long outing was 8 2/3 innings last July against the White Sox. He's 3-0 in four career starts against the Royals.

''He put it to us,'' said Alex Gordon, who went 0 for 4 and struck out to the end the game. ''Give him credit. You look at our offense today and say we stunk. That's how it was.''

Chen coasted through four innings, dominating the Indians with a mix of off-speed pitches before they touched him for five runs and chased him in the fifth.

The left-hander retired 11 straight before Carlos Santana led off with a double, snapping an 0-for-16 slide with just his third hit in 48 at-bats. Michael Brantley followed with a single to center for his team-leading 19th RBI, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

The Indians didn't stop there as Murphy slapped a two-run single to left, and Cabrera made it 5-0 with his double down the left-field line to end Chen's outing.

The 28-year-old Kluber doesn't come across as fiery, but Francona said his low-key demeanor is deceiving.

''He's not the loudest guy in the clubhouse, but there's a fire there, man,'' Francona said. ''He competes. He wants to be really good. He goes at it the right way. For a kid that doesn't have a ton of time in the major leagues, he's a good pro.''

Kansas City managed just one hit off Kluber in the first four innings, and then the Royals ran their way out of a scoring chance in the fifth when Alcides Escobar hesitated rounding second on Jarrod Dyson's base hit, and Brantley threw him out from center.

The Royals turned a nifty double play to end the first.

With a Cabrera at third, first baseman Eric Hosmer fielded Jason Kipnis' hard grounder, stepped on first and threw home. Catcher Brett Hayes made a sweeping tag on Cabrera, who was called out. Crew chief Bill Miller called for a review to see if Hayes had blocked the plate, but the call was confirmed.


Kluber threw 101 pitches, 75 for strikes. ... Kluber's complete game was the first for the Indians since Justin Masterson's on June 30 last season. ... The Indians and Cincinnati Reds entered the day as the only teams yet to play in an extra-inning game this season. ... The Indians will open a three-game interleague series in San Francisco on Friday. ... Brantley is 11 for 22 in his career against Chen.

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Corey Kluber strikes out 11 in his first career complete game, and improves to 3-0 against the Royals. (USATSI)
Corey Kluber strikes out 11 in his first career complete game, and improves to 3-0 against the Royals. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

A. Cabrera
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

C. Kluber
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 11

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
Norichika Aoki, RF4000001 .253
Eric Hosmer, 1B4000030 .301
Billy Butler, DH4000010 .195
Alex Gordon, LF4000020 .275
Omar Infante, 2B3110010 .280
Mike Moustakas, 3B3000010 .153
Alcides Escobar, SS3010021 .300
Jarrod Dyson, CF3020011 .368
Brett Hayes, C3000001 .000
Bruce Chen, P0000000 .000
   Michael Mariot, P0000000 .000
SB - Jarrod Dyson (3, 2nd base off Kluber/Gomes)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Hosmer-Hayes
E - Bruce Chen (1, Throwing)
PB - Brett Hayes (1)
Kansas City Royals
Bruce Chen (L,1-2) 4.1655120 7.45
Michael Mariot 3.2100040 2.35
WP - Michael Mariot (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 75-49, Michael Mariot 40-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 3-7, Michael Mariot 2-5
Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 19, Michael Mariot 12
Cleveland Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4022000 .238
Nick Swisher, 1B4000032 .205
Jason Kipnis, 2B4010012 .244
Carlos Santana, 3B4110001 .137
Michael Brantley, CF3111000 .296
Ryan Raburn, DH2100110 .184
Yan Gomes, C3110010 .269
David Murphy, RF3112000 .290
Mike Aviles, LF2000000 .238
Corey Kluber, P0000000 .000
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera (6, Chen), Jason Kipnis (6, Mariot), Carlos Santana (3, Chen)
SH - Mike Aviles (2)
RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (7), Michael Brantley (19), David Murphy 2 (17)
Team LOB - 2
Outfield Assists - Michael Brantley 1
E - Nick Swisher (3, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Corey Kluber (W,2-2) 94100110 3.90
Pitches-Strikes - Corey Kluber 101-75
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Corey Kluber 13-3
Batters Faced - Corey Kluber 31
Game Information
Attendance - 10440
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 49
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Adam Hamari