Kluber bounces back, Indians down Braves 8-4 in DH opener

CLEVELAND (AP) Corey Kluber's fastball had late movement. He had command, control and that unmistakable presence.

One game after a horrible start, Kluber looked much better - like, well, himself.

Kluber bounced back from one of his worst outings in recent years by working seven innings and Carlos Santana celebrated his U.S. citizenship with three hits, leading Cleveland over the Atlanta Braves 8-4 in the opener of a doubleheader on Saturday.

''I thought that was way closer to the Klubes that we've seen and really encouraging moving forward,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Kluber (2-2) shook off a rough first inning and allowed four runs and five hits. The right-hander didn't get out of the third inning in his previous start, when he walked a career-high five and gave up two homers in a no-decision against Kansas City.

Kluber credited some subtle changes to his mechanics in getting back on track.

''Not really any one thing, just kind of getting back to the way I feel,'' said Kluber, who retired 11 straight before before giving up two homers in the seventh. ''It's hard to necessarily to put it in words, but I know what feels right and what feels wrong, so just trying to kind of get out of my own way a little bit and try to recreate what I know feels right and what allows me to make pitches I need to.''

Max Moroff homered and had two RBIs for Cleveland, which won its fourth straight.

Greg Allen hit a run-scoring double off starter Julio Teheran (2-2) and the Indians scored six runs in the fifth - all with two outs. Teheran fell to 6-13 in interleague games.

Brian McCann and Matt Joyce connected for back-to-back homers off Kluber in the seventh. The Braves, who have lost four in a row, had just six hits.

''Kluber was tough,'' McCann said. ''His ball was dancing all over the place and he was keeping us off balance.''

It was the first meeting between the teams since 2016, and the series opener was pushed back a day because of rain.

Before the game, the Indians activated All-Star Francisco Lindor, who missed their first 18 games while recovering from a sprained ankle. Lindor was to start at shortstop in Game 2, but the Indians plan to use him as an occasional designated hitter while easing him back.

Kluber settled in after a 28-pitch first and looked much more like the two-time Cy Young Award winner who has anchored Cleveland's staff for years. He also benefited from the Indians' biggest inning this season.

With the score tied 2-2 and two outs in the fifth, Teheran needed only to put away Allen, but the speedy center fielder, who came to the plate batting .033, pulled his double into the right-field corner. On his way to first, Allen excitedly pumped a fist before hitting bag and hustling into second as Santana scored.

On Friday, Santana, who was born in the Dominican Republic, took the oath to be an American.

The Indians added five more runs in the inning to give Kluber more than enough cushion.

Moroff, about to lose a starting job with Lindor returning, tied it 2-2 in the fourth with his first AL homer. He came in batting .077 before hitting a 2-2 pitch into the seats beyond the right-field wall. Moroff homered three times in 26 games last season for Pittsburgh, which traded him to Cleveland in November.

UNFAMILIAR FOES

Entering the doubleheader, the Braves and Indians had only played 12 times. However, the clubs share a postseason history as Cleveland's last World Series title in 1948 came against the Braves, who were then located in Milwaukee. Atlanta won its lone Series title in 1995 over the Indians.

OLD FACES, NEW PLACE

One long-time Indians player came back, so did a short-timer.

Josh Tomlin spent nine seasons with Cleveland before signing as a free agent with Atlanta this winter. The right-hander received a warm ovation when he came into the pitch the eighth.

Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson finished last season with the Indians, hitting .280 with three homers and seven RBIs in 16 games. The 2015 AL MVP with Toronto agreed to a $23 million, one-year contract with Atlanta in November.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Star LF Ronald Acuna Jr. stayed in after being hit on the left elbow by Kluber in the third. Acuna also slid awkwardly while catching Allen's sinking liner in the same inning.

Indians: Injured starter Mike Clevinger has elected not to undergo surgery on an upper back strain, a procedure that could sideline him for three months. Francona said the right-hander will undergo another MRI and the results will determine when he can resume throwing.

UP NEXT

In the nightcap, Atlanta RHP Touki Toussaint (1-0) was to make his first start of the season against Cleveland's Trevor Bauer (2-1), who has allowed four or fewer runs in his last 57 starts - the majors' longest streak since Greg Maddux went 106 (1991-94).

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123456789RHE
ATL11-10
101000200460
CLE12-9
10016000X8100
  • W: C. Kluber (2-2)L: J. Teheran (2-2)
  • HR: ATL - B. McCann (1), M. Joyce (2), CLE - M. Moroff (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
O. Albies 2B41100020.288.345.438.7822.0
J. Donaldson 3B40100020.239.363.403.7650.0
F. Freeman 1B31000112.310.437.479.9161.5
R. Acuna LF20000120.308.444.6311.0751.0
N. Markakis DH30120000.318.382.470.8513.0
D. Swanson SS40000014.254.370.525.895-0.5
B. McCann C41111000.286.407.476.8846.0
M. Joyce RF31111000.214.313.7141.0276.0
a- C. Culberson PH10100000.444.4441.2221.6671.0
E. Inciarte CF30000010.194.275.306.582-0.5
b- J. Camargo PH10000001.257.350.457.8070.0
  • a-singled for Joyce in the 9th
  • b-flied out for Inciarte in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
L. Martin CF51110012.254.359.448.8072.5
J. Ramirez 3B31000202.139.213.222.4353.0
J. Kipnis 2B40210110.333.412.400.8123.5
C. Santana 1B51310002.407.521.5421.0637.0
J. Bauers DH40000133.211.308.351.659-0.5
G. Allen LF41110025.063.139.125.2643.0
T. Naquin RF41110015.255.269.373.6424.5
K. Plawecki C21000220.182.308.364.6712.0
M. Moroff SS32221111.138.167.276.44311.5
    BATTING
    • 2B - O. Albies (4)
    • HR - B. McCann, M. Joyce (2)
    • SF - N. Markakis (2)
    • RBI - N. Markakis 2 (15), B. McCann (7), M. Joyce (3)
    • 2-Out RBI - N. Markakis (3)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - D. Swanson 4 (4), J. Camargo
    BATTING
    • 2B - G. Allen (2)
    • HR - M. Moroff
    • RBI - L. Martin (6), J. Kipnis (2), C. Santana (12), G. Allen (5), T. Naquin (5), M. Moroff 2 (4)
    • 2-Out RBI - L. Martin (2), J. Kipnis (2), G. Allen (2), T. Naquin (2), M. Moroff (2)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Ramirez 2 (2), C. Santana 2 (2), T. Naquin 5 (5)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - C. Santana, T. Naquin (2), M. Moroff
    FIELDING
    • PB - B. McCann
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Teheran (L, 2-2)4.27554615.611.64-6.0
    W. Parsons0.03322004.701.43-7.0
    J. Biddle1.10000202.531.414.0
    J. Webb1.00001200.001.203.0
    J. Tomlin1.00000101.350.453.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Teheran (L, 2-2)4.2
    W. Parsons0.0
    J. Biddle1.1
    J. Webb1.0
    J. Tomlin1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Kluber (W, 2-2)7.05442825.881.6221.0
    N. Wittgren1.00000100.000.293.5
    B. Hand1.01000001.861.142.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Kluber (W, 2-2)7.0
    N. Wittgren1.0
    B. Hand1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Webb
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Teheran 106-60, W. Parsons 18-7, J. Biddle 23-16, J. Webb 23-12, J. Tomlin 6-5
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Teheran 3-5, J. Biddle 1-1, J. Tomlin 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Teheran 25, W. Parsons 5, J. Biddle 4, J. Webb 4, J. Tomlin 3
    PITCHING
    • HBP - C. Kluber (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kluber 109-73, N. Wittgren 12-8, B. Hand 15-10
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kluber 7-6, N. Wittgren 2-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Kluber 29, N. Wittgren 3, B. Hand 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    ATL11-10
    101000200460
    CLE12-9
    10016000X8100
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    O. Albies 2B41100020.288.345.438.7822.0
    J. Donaldson 3B40100020.239.363.403.7650.0
    F. Freeman 1B31000112.310.437.479.9161.5
    R. Acuna LF20000120.308.444.6311.0751.0
    N. Markakis DH30120000.318.382.470.8513.0
    D. Swanson SS40000014.254.370.525.895-0.5
    B. McCann C41111000.286.407.476.8846.0
    M. Joyce RF31111000.214.313.7141.0276.0
    a- C. Culberson PH10100000.444.4441.2221.6671.0
    E. Inciarte CF30000010.194.275.306.582-0.5
    b- J. Camargo PH10000001.257.350.457.8070.0
    Total324642297-----
    • a-singled for Joyce in the 9th
    • b-flied out for Inciarte in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    L. Martin CF51110012.254.359.448.8072.5
    J. Ramirez 3B31000202.139.213.222.4353.0
    J. Kipnis 2B40210110.333.412.400.8123.5
    C. Santana 1B51310002.407.521.5421.0637.0
    J. Bauers DH40000133.211.308.351.659-0.5
    G. Allen LF41110025.063.139.125.2643.0
    T. Naquin RF41110015.255.269.373.6424.5
    K. Plawecki C21000220.182.308.364.6712.0
    M. Moroff SS32221111.138.167.276.44311.5
    Total348107171120-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - O. Albies (4)
      • HR - B. McCann, M. Joyce (2)
      • SF - N. Markakis (2)
      • RBI - N. Markakis 2 (15), B. McCann (7), M. Joyce (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - N. Markakis (3)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - D. Swanson 4 (4), J. Camargo
      BATTING
      • 2B - G. Allen (2)
      • HR - M. Moroff
      • RBI - L. Martin (6), J. Kipnis (2), C. Santana (12), G. Allen (5), T. Naquin (5), M. Moroff 2 (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - L. Martin (2), J. Kipnis (2), G. Allen (2), T. Naquin (2), M. Moroff (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Ramirez 2 (2), C. Santana 2 (2), T. Naquin 5 (5)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - C. Santana, T. Naquin (2), M. Moroff
      FIELDING
      • PB - B. McCann
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Teheran (L, 2-2)4.27554615.611.64-6.0
      W. Parsons0.03322004.701.43-7.0
      J. Biddle1.10000202.531.414.0
      J. Webb1.00001200.001.203.0
      J. Tomlin1.00000101.350.453.5
      Total8.010877111---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Teheran (L, 2-2)4.2
      W. Parsons0.0
      J. Biddle1.1
      J. Webb1.0
      J. Tomlin1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Kluber (W, 2-2)7.05442825.881.6221.0
      N. Wittgren1.00000100.000.293.5
      B. Hand1.01000001.861.142.0
      Total9.0644292---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Kluber (W, 2-2)7.0
      N. Wittgren1.0
      B. Hand1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Webb
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Teheran 106-60, W. Parsons 18-7, J. Biddle 23-16, J. Webb 23-12, J. Tomlin 6-5
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Teheran 3-5, J. Biddle 1-1, J. Tomlin 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Teheran 25, W. Parsons 5, J. Biddle 4, J. Webb 4, J. Tomlin 3
      PITCHING
      • HBP - C. Kluber (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kluber 109-73, N. Wittgren 12-8, B. Hand 15-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kluber 7-6, N. Wittgren 2-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Kluber 29, N. Wittgren 3, B. Hand 4
      • 7TH INNING
        Joyce homered to right center48
        McCann homered to right center38
      • 5TH INNING
        Kipnis singled to shallow left, Martin scored, Ramirez to third28
        Moroff scored, Martin to third, Ramirez to second on passed ball27
        Martin singled to left center, Plawecki scored, Moroff to third, Martin to second26
        Moroff singled to shallow right center, Naquin scored, Plawecki to third25
        Naquin singled to shallow right, Allen scored24
        Allen doubled to right, Santana scored23
      • 4TH INNING
        Moroff homered to right22
      • 3RD INNING
        Markakis hit sacrifice fly to left, Albies scored21
      • 1ST INNING
        Santana singled to shallow left, Ramirez scored, Kipnis to second11
        Markakis singled to center, Freeman scored, Acuna to third10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Brad Hand relieved Nick Wittgren
        • D. Swanson: Swanson lined out to center
        • B. McCann: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, McCann flied out to right
        • Charlie Culberson hit for Matt Joyce
        • C. Culberson: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Culberson reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • Johan Camargo hit for Ender Inciarte
        • J. Camargo: Strike looking, Camargo flied out to left
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Nick Wittgren relieved Corey Kluber
        • F. Freeman: Freeman grounded out to shortstop
        • R. Acuna: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
        • N. Markakis: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Markakis grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Josh Tomlin relieved Jacob Webb
        • J. Kipnis: Kipnis lined out to right
        • Ca. Santana: Santana grounded out to first
        • J. Bauers: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Bauers struck out on foul tip
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Ball, Ball, McCann homered to right center
        • M. Joyce: Strike looking, Ball, Joyce homered to right center
        • E. Inciarte: Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Inciarte grounded out to first
        • O. Albies: Strike swinging, Albies grounded out to third
        • J. Donaldson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Donaldson struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Jacob Webb relieved Jesse Biddle
        • K. Plawecki: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Plawecki walked
        • M. Moroff: Ball, Ball, Plawecki to second on wild pitch, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Moroff struck out swinging
        • L. Martin: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul tip, Martin struck out on foul tip
        • J. Ramirez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ramirez flied out to center
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • R. Acuna: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Acuna struck out looking
        • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Markakis grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Swanson lined out to second
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Biddle Pitching:
        • J. Bauers: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Bauers struck out swinging
        • G. Allen: Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Allen struck out swinging
        • T. Naquin: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Naquin grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • O. Albies: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Albies struck out swinging
        • J. Donaldson: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Donaldson grounded out to first
        • F. Freeman: Foul, Freeman lined out to first
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Teheran Pitching:
        • J. Kipnis: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Kipnis struck out swinging
        • Ca. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Santana singled to shallow center
        • J. Bauers: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bauers struck out swinging
        • G. Allen: Ball, Ball, Santana stole second, Ball, Strike looking, Allen doubled to right, Santana scored
        • T. Naquin: Naquin singled to shallow right, Allen scored
        • Wes Parsons relieved Julio Teheran
        • K. Plawecki: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Naquin stole second, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Plawecki walked
        • M. Moroff: Moroff singled to shallow right center, Naquin scored, Plawecki to third
        • L. Martin: Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Strike swinging, Martin singled to left center, Plawecki scored, Moroff to third, Martin to second
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ramirez walked
        • J. Kipnis: Ball, Ball, Moroff scored, Martin to third, Ramirez to second on passed ball, Kipnis singled to shallow left, Martin scored, Ramirez to third
        • Jesse Biddle relieved Wes Parsons
        • Ca. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Santana lined out to right
        • End of the 5th (6 Runs, 6 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, McCann grounded out to third
        • M. Joyce: Joyce fouled out to third
        • E. Inciarte: Strike looking, Foul, Foul tip, Inciarte struck out on foul tip
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Teheran Pitching:
        • K. Plawecki: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul tip, Plawecki struck out on foul tip
        • M. Moroff: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Moroff homered to right
        • L. Martin: Martin grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ramirez flied out to left
        • End of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • O. Albies: Ball, Albies doubled to right center
        • J. Donaldson: Donaldson reached on an infield single to shortstop, Albies to third
        • F. Freeman: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Freeman struck out looking
        • R. Acuna: Ball, Acuna hit by pitch, Donaldson to second
        • N. Markakis: Strike swinging, Foul, Markakis hit sacrifice fly to left, Albies scored
        • D. Swanson: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Swanson grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Teheran Pitching:
        • J. Kipnis: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Kipnis walked
        • Ca. Santana: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Santana singled to right, Kipnis to third
        • J. Bauers: Bauers reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Kipnis out at home, Santana to second
        • G. Allen: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Allen lined out to left
        • T. Naquin: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Naquin fouled out to catcher
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • B. McCann: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, McCann popped out to shortstop
        • M. Joyce: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Joyce flied out to left
        • E. Inciarte: Strike swinging, Ball, Inciarte grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Teheran Pitching:
        • K. Plawecki: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Plawecki struck out swinging
        • M. Moroff: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Moroff walked
        • L. Martin: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Moroff stole second, Ball, Strike looking, Martin fouled out to third
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ramirez grounded out to first
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • O. Albies: Foul, Strike looking, Foul tip, Albies struck out on foul tip
        • J. Donaldson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Donaldson struck out looking
        • F. Freeman: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Freeman walked
        • R. Acuna: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Acuna walked, Freeman to second
        • N. Markakis: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Markakis singled to center, Freeman scored, Acuna to third
        • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Teheran Pitching:
        • L. Martin: Strike looking, Ball, Martin flied out to shallow right
        • J. Ramirez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ramirez walked
        • J. Kipnis: Kipnis singled to shallow right, Ramirez to third
        • Ca. Santana: Ball, Santana singled to shallow left, Ramirez scored, Kipnis to second
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Bauers walked, Kipnis to third, Santana to second
        • G. Allen: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Allen struck out swinging
        • T. Naquin: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Naquin struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)