In his first start following the All-Star break last Saturday against Cincinnati, American League reigning Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber received something he hasn’t seen much of in 2015, run support. Friday night at Progressive Field, the story of Kluber’s first half of the season returned for an encore, no run support. Kluber would allow six earned runs in seven innings pitched against the Chicago White Sox. Kluber’s counterpart Jose Quintana tossed his first career complete game shut out in the White Sox 6-0 win.
The loss puts the Indians just a half game ahead of the White Sox for the cellar in the American League Central division. The Indians have now lost two straight and are 3-4 since the All-Star Break.
Kluber’s six earned runs weren’t a reflection of how he pitched in front of a crowd of over 26,000 fans in the second game of this four game series. Kluber did strike out seven and pitched into the eighth inning. A pair of doubles in that eighth inning were inches away from being foul balls. The White Sox scored four runs in that eighth inning. An inch or two on both of those doubles from Melky Cabrera and Alexi Ramirez and those become foul balls and Kluber may have only allowed two runs instead of six. The six earned runs ties a season high for Kluber this season.
A Kluber miscue allowed the White Sox to get on the board in the third inning. Kluber would throw a wild pitch during Carlos Sanchez’s at bat that would allow Ramirez to score from third to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. The White Sox would make it 2-0 in the fifth inning when Jose Abreu connects on his 15th home run of the season, a solo shot to center field.
Quintana was the other big story from Progressive Field on Friday night. The White Sox left hander had the Indians batters scratching their heads. Quintana struck out eight and didn’t allow a walk. The Indians did tally seven hits off the lefty. Michael Brantley was the only Indians with more than one hit on Friday. Brantley had the only extra base hit for the tribe, a double in the first inning. Brantley has raised his batting average to .302 and is back to his old self after struggling before the break.
Quintana improves his record to 5-9 on the season. Kluber falls to 5-11 on the year. The Indians will send Carlos Carrasco to the hill on Saturday night looking to keep the Indains from falling into last place in the division. Chicago counters with their ace, Chris Sale. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
Before Friday’s game, the Indains called up first baseman Jesus Aguilar from the Columbus Clippers. Left handed reliever Kyle Crockett was optioned down to Columbus. Aguilar started at first base and went one for three with a single and two strike outs. The right handed power hitter will provide some depth at first base and designated hitter for manager Terry Francona.