Indians encouraged by Corey Kluber's performance on Saturday

Kluber allowed four runs in seven innings

James Rapien
April 20, 2019 - 8:53 pm
Apr 20, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Corey Kluber wasn’t the dominant ace that Indians fans know and love, but his performance on Saturday afternoon was a step in the right direction.

The 33-year-old pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits and finished with eight strikeouts in the Indians’ 8-4 win over Atlanta.

Kluber struggled with his control early in the game, walking two in the first inning, but he battled back and had a solid outing.

“He kind of self corrected,” manager Terry Francona said. “You started to see the late movement with his pitches as the game progressed and then he fell behind and he kind of pitched to the scoreboard and they took advantage of it – hit the two solos, but I thought that was way closer to Klubes than we’ve seen and really encouraging moving forward.”

Kluber retired 11-straight batters from the third through the sixth inning. He’s worked to refine his mechanics in hopes of returning to form. The control issues he had early in the game kept him from dominating, but he put the Indians in a position to win.

“At times it was good,” Kluber said when asked about his delivery. “I think there was still instances where I could feel that maybe slipped out a little bit, but the difference is I was able to kind of reel things in and get back on track to where I want to be.”

Kluber is 2-2 on the season with a 5.88 ERA in five starts. He’s allowed 20 runs, 26 hits and struck out 29 in 30 innings of work.

If the Indians are going to reach their full potential and make a deep run in October, then they’ll need Kluber to be at the top of his game.

Saturday’s start was a step in the right direction for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.