Santana, Kluber flash fine form vs. Giants

Santana, Kluber flash fine form vs. Giants

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians ace Corey Kluber began his march toward Opening Day with a crisp showing on Saturday, when Cleveland dropped a 6-2 decision to a split-squad Giants club at Goodyear Ballpark.

San Francisco opened the scoring with a two-run third, scored a run in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and then added three runs in the ninth to close the scoring. Junior Arias had two hits, an RBI and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the eighth.

Kluber, who was confirmed as Cleveland's planned Opening Day starter on Saturday morning by manager Terry Francona, retired all six batters he faced in his two-inning Cactus League debut. The right-hander struck out three and created three outs via ground balls before calling it a day for the Tribe.

"It was good," Kluber said. "My main goal today was to work ahead and pound the strike zone. I was able to do that, so there's positives to take away from it."

"Eighteen pitches in two innings, that was really good," manager Terry Francona said of Kluber. "He stayed in his delivery. Late movement. On a day when you look at the scoreboard and it's not in our favor, you go home feeling pretty good, because that was two really good innings."

Kluber on spring debut

Giants starter Chris Stratton -- picked by San Francisco in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft -- logged two shutout innings against the Indians. The right-hander scattered four hits, but struck out one and was able to sidestep any damage. Stratton is likely ticketed for Triple-A Sacramento to begin this season.

The Giants struck for two runs against Tribe righty Josh Tomlin, who is fighting for the lone vacancy at the back end of Cleveland's rotation. Both runs came via a sacrifice fly each by Rando Moreno and Matt Duffy in the third inning. Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall made a spectacular catch down the line on Moreno's run-scoring fly and center fielder Tyler Naquin made a diving catch on Duffy's shot to deep center two batters later.

Duffy's sacrifice fly

Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela also ended the third inning with a great grab of his own, leaning over the railing in foul ground to snag a fly ball off the bat of Brandon Crawford.

In the fifth inning, Carlos Santana put the Indians on the board with an RBI double off Giants reliever Vin Mazzaro, scoring catcher Yan Gomes. Urshela added a run-scoring single of his own off Mazzaro to pull the game into a 2-2 deadlock.

Urshela's RBI single

Up next for Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who enjoyed a breakout showing last season, is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut against the Brewers in a 3:05 p.m. ET contest in Maryvale, Ariz. Righty Cody Anderson will continue his bid for the fifth spot in the rotation with three innings after Carrasco's start. Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli are among the regulars tentatively slated to suit up for the Tribe.

Listen to the action live on Gameday Audio.

Up next for Giants: There should be at least a whiff of regular-season intensity in the air Sunday at Scottsdale Stadium, where the Giants will entertain the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers at 12:05 p.m. PT. Right-handers Jeff Samardzija of the Giants and Zach Lee of the Dodgers will start.

Watch the action live on MLB.TV.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.