Indians starter Corey Kluber struck out 12 Rockies hitters in a 5-2 Cleveland win at Progressive Field Friday.
CLEVELAND -- During the 2013 regular season, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber gained a reputation for being the team's stopper in the rotation.
In 10 starts after a loss last year, Kluber posted a 5-1 record, and that reputation has continued through the early part of the 2014 season, especially in Friday night's 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies at Progressive Field.
Kluber struck out 12 Rockies hitters over 7.1 innings of work to get his sixth win of the season, and break a four-game slide for the Indians, who improved 25-30, and 16-11 at home, with the victory.
"It's fun to write his name in every fifth day," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He just continues to get better. Against that lineup, you see the numbers up on the board, they're a very difficult team to strike out. They do a really good job of putting the ball in play, and just about everybody in the lineup, there's a bunch of crooked numbers up there, so what he did was that much more impressive.
"Just power, movement, command, he was good."
Including Friday's outing, Kluber has five double-digit strikeout games in his career, three of which have come this season, and has now struck out eight or more batters in six straight starts, the first Major Leaguer to accomplish that feat this season.
"(It's) probably just consistency," Kluber said. "That's my number one goal, to try and be as consistent as I can from start to start.
"I don't think about whether we're on a winning streak or losing streak. When I go out there, I'm just trying to go out and pitch a good game and give our team a chance to win each time out."
With Kluber handling his business on the mound, the Indians' offense gave him more than enough support for him to pull out his fifth career interleague victory.
Down 2-1 after a two-run home run off the bat off Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, the Indians went to work and plated four runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Right fielder David Murphy got things started with a lead-off double to right field, and came around to score when center fielder Michael Bourn split the Colorado infield with a sharp single up the middle.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera continued the rally when he belted a two-run home run to right field.
Following Cabrera's home run, left fielder Michael Brantley doubled to center field, and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall followed up with an RBI double two batters later.
"I know he's real comfortable hitting in the two hole," Francona said of Cabrera. "I don't know if we could always do that early in the year, but he had that real good week back a ways. That kind of made him feel good about himself, and then, he's been battling that knee, but he (took) a big swing tonight."