The Tribe snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at home against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Corey Kluber continued his reign of dominance as he silenced the Rockies’ bats, striking out 12 batters in 7 1/3 innings, while allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk. Colorado starter Juan Nicasio lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up five runs and nine hits. The Indians bullpen did their job as well, with Marc Rzepczynski and Cody Allen retiring all five batters that they faced to close the game.
Top of the 4th, Indians lead 1-0
Lonnie Chisenhall singled in a run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Indians the early lead, but the Rockies reclaimed the advantage in the fourth. Corey Dickerson doubled to lead off the inning, then scored when Kluber gave up a two-run home run to outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Bottom of the 5th, Indians trail 2-1
Nicasio wasn’t able to hold on to the lead for long, allowing a lead-off double to David Murphy in the fifth inning. The Tribe’s right fielder scored when Michael Bourn hit an RBI-single to center, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a two-run home run of his own. Michael Brantley kept the rally going with a double, before Chisenhall added to the lead with an RBI-double. That was the end of the night for Nicasio. The Rockies bullpen held the Tribe scoreless for the rest of the game, but the damage had already been done.
It’s hard to do justice to just how important Corey Kluber has become to the team. He was 4-0 in the month of May, with a 2.09 ERA, 60 strikeouts and just eight walks. That drops his ERA for the season to 3.04. During Friday’s game, he threw nearly 70 percent of his pitches for strikes, and located the ball perfectly throughout the game. The pitching staff as a whole struck out 15 batters and walked only one, which is a recipe for success if they can continue it.
The entire team played a clean game, without any errors or mental mistakes that came back to haunt them. The offense got results, the pitching was solid, and the defense played like they were supposed to. This was one of the few games this season where there were no obvious negatives to point out.
Check It Out
- The Rockies’ hitters have the lowest strikeout total in the National League, with 379. Tribe pitchers, as previously noted, lead the American League with 485 strikeouts. So far, the Indians’ rotation is winning that battle.
- Colorado also leads all of baseball in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Although they’ve been much better at home than on the road, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin will have their work cut out for them during the next two games, especially given their propensity for allowing home runs.