Kluber goes distance as Tribe rocks Angels

Kluber goes distance as Tribe rocks Angels

ANAHEIM -- Corey Kluber had a four-run lead before taking the mound, and the right-hander didn't look back, tossing his ninth career complete game to lead the Indians to a 6-2 win over the Angels on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

"I just made some good pitches at the right time," Kluber said. "The offense did a great job, giving me four runs in the first inning, then after I gave up a run, they put up two more in the second."

The Indians pounced on the Angels early, chasing starter Hector Santiago after just 1 1/3 innings. They scored four runs on the first -- all with two outs -- before adding on two more in the second to jump out to a 6-1 lead.

While the Indians maintained their 3 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, the Angels have now lost five in a row, dropping them to 26-35, 11 off the pace in the AL West.

Two-out thunder: The Indians scored four two-out runs in the first inning against Santiago. Three consecutive hits -- doubles by Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez's single -- scored the first three runs. The fourth scored on a throwing error by Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar. The Indians were averaging four runs per game on the road coming into the series.

"They're always gold," second baseman Jason Kipnis said of the two-out runs. "They set the tone for us. We wanted to play a little bit better than in Seattle, where we split four games, but our offense didn't really get untracked."

Santana's RBI double

Short-lived Santiago: Santiago struggled yet again, lasting no more than four innings for the fourth time in his last five starts. He got rocked by the Indians, giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits while throwing just 54 pitches. It was his shortest outing since going two-thirds of an inning on Sept. 17 last season against the Twins.

"I'm making the same pitches I did when I would throw eight scoreless or seven scoreless, but right now it just seems like it's snowballing and carrying over from each start," Santiago said. "The last five starts have been very frustrating." More >

Santiago stays in with leg issue

Game of Klu: Kluber settled in nicely after Escobar led off the first inning with a double, retiring 16 of the next 17 batters he faced. He went the distance for the second time this season, surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out eight.

"When you get the lead, my goal is to go out and attack the zone," said Kluber, who threw a season-high 114 pitches, 73 for strikes. More >

Kluber cements the complete game

Silent Night: Escobar's first-inning double off Kluber led to a run. He came around to score on Mike Trout's RBI groundout, but the Angels wouldn't get another hit until Escobar's one-out single to right in the sixth. The only other baserunner during that stretch was Johnny Giavotella, who walked in the second. The Angels would land just three hits off Kluber all night, scoring a second run on a wild pitch.

Trout's RBI groundout

Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun prevented the Indians from adding to their lead in the third inning, robbing Yan Gomes of an extra-base hit with a full-extension diving grab near the foul line.

Calhoun's great diving catch

Indians: Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.88), coming off a career-best 10-strikeout performance, starts Saturday night at Angel Stadium. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts against the Angels, the latest a masterful eight-inning effort in Cleveland on Aug. 28, when he allowed one earned run and struck out seven.

Angels: Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 5.40 ERA) will start against the Indians on Saturday night at Angel Stadium. The right-hander has struck out 39 batters since last issuing a walk, an Angels record, and he has a 2.80 ERA in his past five starts. He's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his career against Cleveland.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. He covered the Angels on Friday.

Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim. He covered the Indians on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.