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Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber  

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03/11/2018 1:35 am  

 will go into his start Monday night in Kansas City in an unfamiliar position: in a slump.

In his first 14 starts this year Brent Seabrook Jersey Kids , Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA. But in his last three starts, Kluber is 1-2 with a 6.59 ERA.

Nevertheless, the slumping Kluber will be on the mound Monday night for the Cleveland Indians, who, not coincidentally, are slumping as a team.

Although they walloped Oakland 15-3 on Sunday, the Indians have lost four of the first six games on their nine-game trip that will conclude with three games in Kansas City.

Kluber, who is 10-6 with a 2.82 ERA in 21 career starts against the Royals, will try to get back on track against one of his favorite opponents.

Kluber’s three-start slump is actually two really bad ones sandwiched around a really good one. It started June 15 with a 10-3 loss to Minnesota in which Kluber gave up four runs in five innings.

However, Kluber’s next start, on June 20, was a 12-0 win over the Chicago White Sox in which he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up one hit.

But on June 26 in St. Louis, Kluber had his worst start of the year, his worst in several years. In an 11-4 loss to the Cardinals, Kluber was removed from the game after giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings.

“He’s human. Guys don’t go 35 starts (during the season) without a bump in the road Youth Corey Crawford Jersey ,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Kluber said, “No excuses. I just didn’t get the job done. I had some things going on delivery-wise and didn’t execute my pitches consistently.”

Although the Indians have a comfortable nine-game lead in the American League Central, they have had trouble winning on the road.

Cleveland is 27-13 at home but just 18-24 on the road, the only division leader in the majors with a losing record on the road. The Indians are hoping Kluber can help shake his slump and get a road win Monday.

Kluber is 11-4 with a 2.54 ERA overall this season. One of those wins came against the Royals on May 13, a 6-2 Cleveland victory in which Kluber pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run.

The Indians bolstered their bullpen Sunday by selecting left-hander Marc Rzepczynski from Triple-A Columbus and optioning starter Adam Plutko to Columbus.

Kluber’s mound opponent Monday night, Royals right-hander Jakob Junis (5-9, 4.67), is also mired in a slump.

Junis hasn’t won a game since May 18. In seven starts since then, he is 0-6 with a 6.30 ERA. His last start came June 26, a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. In that game, Junis pitched five innings, giving up four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.

Junis’ last start against Cleveland came May 13. In a 6-2 loss to the Indians, he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

In three career appearances against Cleveland, Junis is 0-1 with a 5.93 ERA.

The Royals Adam Henrique Jersey , who have lost three in a row, were glad to see the calendar change to July. They went 5-21 in June, the worst record in June in the team’s 50-year history.

The Oakland Athletics were down to their last strike when Stephen Piscotty hit a tying home run off closer Brad Hand, who was San Diego’s only All-Star last year.

Jed Lowie then hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th to lift the Athletics to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

Hand was trying for his 22nd save when Piscotty drove a 2-2 fastball into the second deck, his fifth.

”That’s a guy you don’t typically think you’re going to string some hits together against and you’re down to your last pitch and the next thing it’s a homer,” manager Bob Melvin said. ”That’s about as big a momentum shift as you’re going to get, when you’re a strike away from losing and all of a sudden now you potentially have got their closer out of the game and bullpen-wise maybe we’re a little better set.”

Against a pitcher like Hand, ”you’re probably only going to get one pitch to hit and you don’t want to miss it,” Piscotty said. ”He did a good job of getting ahead but in my mind I was just waiting for that one, and luckily I got it and didn’t miss it.”

Piscotty took a 1-2 slider to even the count before homering.

”I saw that one really good and felt confident. Sometimes when you have a good take like that it locks you in,” he said.

”We were one out away from winning the ballgame. I made a mistake, they came back and hit a home run and then the tenth inning didn’t go our way,” Hand said. ”It was down, it was just inner third. A little more in would have been better, but it wasn’t necessarily a terrible pitch Womens Andrew Cogliano Jersey , but he made a good swing on it.”

Said manager Andy Green: ”I’m sure if he had it back, he’d throw a slider instead of a fastball. I also think he wouldn’t mean to throw the fastball right where he threw it. Brad’s been good all year. I’m not the least bit worried about him. He’s resilient as anybody, and it’s one of those days, it’s a tough loss. It one of those that stings late because we did have it. One strike away, and those games sting.”

Adam Cimber (3-3) allowed Marcus Semien’s one-out single in the 10th and retired Chad Pinder on a fly to right before Lowrie connected for his 10th homer.

”I was just looking for something over the plate that I could square up and he made a mistake right down the middle,” Lowrie said.

Rookie Lou Trivino (4-1) pitched two innings for the win. Blake Treinen pitched the 10th for his 16th save.

Padres rookie left-hander hander Eric Lauer had been in line for the victory after pitching six strong innings. He settled down after allowing an unearned run in the second and held the A’s to one run and three hits while matching his strikeout high with seven. He walked two.

The Padres had given Lauer just enough support in the first two innings against Paul Blackburn. Jose Pirela brought in a run in the first on a grounder and Raffy Lopez doubled with one out in the second to bring in rookie Franmil Reyes, who was aboard on a leadoff double.

Blackburn allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, struck out four and walked two.

The A’s scored in the second with some help from replay. Khris Davis drew a leadoff walk and was originally called out on a force play on Matt Olson’s ground ball. The A’s challenged and the call was overturned, with shortstop Freddy Galvis given an error because his foot wasn’t on second base when he took the throw. Davis advanced on Mark Canha’s single and scored when Piscotty grounded into a double play.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Padres are in a stretch in which they will play just five of 28 games at home. After going 5-5 on a trip through Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta, the Padres are home for just two games before heading out for a seven-game trip to San Francisco and Texas. Then they’re home for three games against Pittsburgh before a six-game trip to Oakland and Arizona.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: Have cut short OF Franchy Cordero’s rehab assignment after he felt something in his right elbow. Manager Andy Green said it’s ”highly unlikely” Cordero is back soon.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.67 ERA) is scheduled to start the finale of the two-game series.

Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 3.23) is scheduled to return from more than a month on the DL with a strained right hip.

 


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