PHOENIX (AP) -- A night after playing one of the longest games in
team history, the Cleveland Indians needed Corey Kluber to pitch deep
into the game to protect their depleted bullpen.
Kluber did, though it had nothing to do with necessity. He tries to do that every time he takes the mound.
Kluber gave Cleveland a much-needed quality start, pitching seven
effective innings to help the Indians beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1
on Wednesday to end a four-game losing streak.
The Indians ran through their bullpen in a 14-inning game the night
before Kluber (7-5) gave them a lift with another strong interleague
effort, allowing four hits while striking out eight.
"Obviously, we played a long game last night, but I don't think I put
any more pressure on myself to go deep in the game as I normally
would," Kluber said. "That's what I'm trying to do every game, go as
deep as I can."
Early run support helped.
Michael Brantley homered and had two RBIs against Chase Anderson
(5-3), sending the rookie to his third straight loss after opening his
career with five consecutive wins.
Yan Gomes also homered for Cleveland, and Michael Bourn had a pair of
triples among his three hits. Jason Kipnis also had two doubles for the
Indians, who had 10 hits.
"We didn't score in bunches, but scored one and then we scored two,"
Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We kept after it. I thought we had
good at-bats throughout the lineup."
Both teams needed their starters to go deep into the game after Tuesday night's marathon.
Arizona won 9-8 on Aaron Hill's single in the 14th inning after both
teams emptied their bullpens in a game that lasted 5 hours, 32 minutes,
matching the longest game in Chase Field history.
Cleveland's bullpen had pitched 20 of the 41 1-3 innings in the
previous four games, so the Indians really needed a good outing from
Kluber. And he delivered.
After giving up a pair of hits to start the first inning, Kluber
limited Arizona's chances, allowing one runner to reach second base over
the next six innings.
Kluber improved to 6-0 with a 2.28 ERA in six career interleague
starts. He also lined a single to left in the fourth inning for his
first career hit.
Arizona finished with five hits -- none after the third inning until
Miguel Montero's run-scoring single with two outs in the ninth.
"Kluber is pretty good," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We
haven't seen him. He has really good stuff. A real live arm. He has some
deception in his delivery."
Anderson ate up a few innings, though wasn't nearly as effective.
After losing his past two starts despite pitching well -- four earned
runs in 11 innings -- the right-hander wasn't nearly as sharp against
Anderson gave up a run in the first inning on Asdrubal Cabrera's
sacrifice fly, and Gomes homered in the second. Brantley had a
run-scoring groundout in the third inning and put Cleveland up 4-0 with a
solo homer to right in the fifth.
Anderson allowed seven hits and walked three in five innings.
"I knew I had to try to get deeper in the game because the bullpen was spent," Anderson said. "Just didn't do my job tonight."
Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall each had run-scoring hits off Zeke Spruill in the seventh inning to put the Indians up 6-0.
NOTES: Indians ace Justin Masterson will have his start on Sunday
pushed back due to a sore right knee. He will be shut down for two days
before throwing a bullpen to see how he's feeling. ... Arizona had
stolen eight straight bases before Ender Inciarte was thrown out at
third in the third inning. He was initially called safe, but it was
overturned after a review. ... Arizona has a day off before RHP Brandon
McCarthy pitches in a road game against San Diego on Friday. The Indians
also have a day off before RHP Trevor Bauer starts the opener of a
three-game series at Seattle.