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Corey Kluber dazzles, offense erupts in 9-2 thumping of the Tigers

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Virtually everything that could go right did go right today.

Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

72.

That’s now the number of consecutive games that Corey Kluber has won when his offense gives him at least 4 runs of support.

168.

That’s now the number of consecutive batters that Corey Kluber has faced without walking one of them.

26.

That’s now the number of consecutive starts in which Corey Kluber has allowed 3 earned runs or fewer.

We could sit here for hours waxing poetic about Corey Kluber, and every minute spent doing so would be well deserved. Today was another spectacular outing by the reigning Cy Young winner, and it doesn’t even come as a surprise at this point. He scattered 5 hits across 8 innings of work and gave up two earned runs, which made his ERA go up. His one blemish was a home run to Leonys Martin in the sixth inning, but the Tribe was already up 6-1 by the time, so the home run ended up not mattering.

The home run didn’t matter thanks to the prolific offensive display by the Cleveland Indians this afternoon. Yonder Alonso got the scoring started in the 2nd inning with a ground rule double to left-center followed quickly by a sac fly off the bat of Melky Cabrera. The reason that Alonso was able to drive in a run was thanks to Francisco Lindor. Lindor started the day in the middle of an 0-for-20 slump and snapped it with a line drive single to right field. He then attempted to steal second base and actually ended up at third thanks to an errant throw by catcher John Hicks. That was the first of three hits and two stolen bases for Lindor on the day.

The big blow came in sixth inning. A Lonnie Chisenhall single, a Melky Cabrera double, and a Roberto Perez hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out for Erik Gonzalez. Gonzalez lofted a 93 mph fastball over the head of Leonys Martin deep in center field and cleared the bases with a double. Gonzalez tried to take third on the hit but was eventually thrown out, but the damage had been done (Gonzalez was the second TOOTBLAN of the day for Cleveland; the first was awarded to Greg Allen in the sixth when he tried to tag up and advance to third on a fly out to center field). The Indians would add three more runs in the eighth thanks to a Melky Cabrera single and a towering 2-run home run by Yan Gomes to center field.

Josh Tomlin made his first appearance since June 1st and actually looked pretty good. The highlight was getting Miguel Cabrera to strike out on three pitches. He then needed just six more pitches to end the game. An argument could be made that Tomlin should’ve been in the inning prior so Corey Kluber didn’t have to exceed 100 pitches yet again, but that’s a small nit to pick in a 9-2 victory.

A bigger issue was on the HBP back in the sixth. The ball caught Roberto Perez right on his hand and he was visibly in pain. The trainer and Tito came out and took a look at Perez, and he was okay to take his base and stay in the game for the rest of the inning. Yan Gomes did replace him the next half inning, so hopefully Perez’s injury is minor.

Cleveland heads to Guaranteed Rate Field tomorrow to begin a new 4-game series with the Chicago White Sox.

UPDATE:

As soon as I hit publish, I checked Twitter and saw an update on Roberto Perez and it doesn’t look good: