Kluber takes advantage of rare opportunity at plate
Right-hander notches second career hit with double in fifth
By Evan Webeck
PHILADELPHIA -- Almost eight years ago, CC Sabathia launched a solo home run well over the right-field wall of Dodger Stadium in an Indians uniform.
Since that day -- June 21, 2008 -- Sabathia has pitched for two more teams. There have been 168 home runs hit by pitchers, and with many more notching extra-base hits. But none of them played for the Indians.
That streak came to an end in the fifth inning of Friday's night 4-3 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies. With two outs, Corey Kluber stepped to the plate. Having struck out in his first at-bat, the former Cy Young Award winner wasn't just going to be an easy out again.
Kluber lined a ball into left field, where it bounced off the wall in foul territory, away from Phillies left fielder David Lough. That allowed enough time for the right-hander to cruise into second base for his second career Major League hit.
"It's fun," Kluber said. "We don't get to do it a lot."
His offensive adventure didn't end at second base, though. Kluber opted to forgo the typical jacket a pitcher will wear when reaching base and scored the Indians' first run of the game on a Rajai Davis single the next at-bat.
"It's tiring," Kluber said. "Running the bases is tiring."
Kluber's first base knock came two seasons ago in Arizona. It was just a single, and he didn't score.
This time, it not only resulted in a run but ignited a rally. Two more Indians followed Kluber across the plate in the fifth, courtesy of Jason Kipnis' two-run home run.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.