CLEVELAND -- The Indians lost to the Twins on Tuesday night, and that's ultimately what matters. But somewhat overlooked in the devastating defeat was starting pitcher Corey Kluber's quality outing for the Tribe.
The Indians had gone without a quality start throughout the first 10 games of their 11-game losing streak, and it was a rookie who finally stepped up. Kluber allowed only three runs (one earned) on six hits over six-plus innings to put Cleveland in a position to win.
"Kluber gave us what we needed," manager Manny Acta said.
Kluber didn't have the best command -- he walked three batters and often pitched behind in the count -- but he worked his way out of trouble against a hot Minnesota offense. Kluber has allowed only one earned run in his past 9 1/3 innings after giving up six runs in the first inning of his debut against the Royals.
"I didn't feel great [Tuesday]," Kluber said. "I was a little erratic, but I was able to make pitches when I needed to. For the most part, I was able to escape the damage I got myself into.
"I just tried to carry over what I did the second part of the game in Kansas City, just try to stay with a steady mix of pitches. I was trying to pound the strike zone. I didn't do a great job of it, but I just tried to keep them off balance, not give them stuff to sit on."
While it ultimately wasn't enough to end the Indians' woeful ways, Kluber's start was a step in the right direction for him and the rotation as a whole. The starting staff was 0-8 with an 11.66 ERA over the previous 10 games.
"It gives me confidence," Kluber said, "with it being my second start, knowing that even if I get in a jam, I still trust my stuff to get out of it as long as I execute pitches."