Corey Kluber had a rocky outing for the Indians Monday afternoon against the Reds, and the Tribe went on to lose 5-4, dropping its Cactus League record to 14-4-2.
After an uneventful 1st inning, Kluber ran into a lot of trouble in the 2nd. A leadoff double was followed by a single and then a triple, which made it 2-0 Cincinnati, and then a sacrifice fly added a another run. A double, a hit-by-pitch, and an infield hit then loaded the bases for Joey Votto, one of the best hitters in baseball. Kluber managed to catch Votto looking at strike 3 to get out of the inning. Kluber then got through the 3rd and 4th with only run man reaching base, and that came on an error by Mike Aviles. Trouble returned in the next inning though, as Kluber issued two walks and allowed a single as well, loading the bases again. Kluber had thrown more pitches than he was expected to already, and so at that point, with one out in the 5th, he was done for the day.
His final line: 3 runs on 7 hits over 4.1 innings, with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks. The strikeouts are nice, and that's something he's done well all spring, but the rest of it isn't anything you want to see from the man who's going to begin the year as the team's #2 starter.
John Axford pitched a 1-2-3 6th inning that included a strikeout of Todd Frazier, and Marc Rzepczynski pitched a scoreless 7th that included a strikeout of Brandon Phillips.
On the offensive side of things, the big hit came from Nick Swisher, who homered for the second day in a row:
Lonnie Chisenhall also hit his second triple of the last few days, while Elliot Johnson and David Murphy each doubled.
Preston Guilmet came in for the save, but after recording one out, he gave up three hits in a row, the last of which scored two runs, turning a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss. Winning is better than losing, but it's hard for me to care much about what happens during a spring training game when no one who's going to make the 25-man roster is still involved.
The game also featured a replay challenge. Phillips was initially called out on a stolen base attempt at third base, but the umpires gathered round, but after the play was reviewed, he was correctly called safe. The entire process delayed the game for ~90 seconds, not bad at all to get a call right.
The Indians got semi-bad news earlier today, when it was announced that Michael Bourn would miss at least a week due to a strained hamstring. He says he expects to be ready before Opening Day, but we'll see.
The Indians continue their Cactus League slate tomorrow afternoon at 10:05 ET, when they play a rare night game at Goodyear Ballpark against the Giants. Zach McAllister is scheduled to start.