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Kluber posts seven solid frames to close spring prep

Right-hander works six scoreless innings before allowing two runs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Indians right-hander Corey Kluber looked like he was ready for the start of the regular season.

Kluber was sharp in his final exhibition outing as he helped lead the Indians past the D-backs, 3-2, on Thursday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

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Kluber allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk.

"It seems like every outing, he goes one more inning deeper," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Kluber. "And that's a normal progression of a good pitcher. He looks really good. He has been throwing the ball really well." 

Meanwhile, Arizona's Wade Miley was not as impressive.

Miley allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. His outing previous to Thursday was a regular-season start against the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia.

"I just wasn't executing pitches," Miley said. "I was leaving fastballs over the middle of the plate, really wasn't getting ahead, so I was leaving them in fastball counts so they were able to sit on things. Just wasn't very good."

The Indians got on the board in the second inning when Matt Carson doubled to right with one out, moved to third on a groundout and then scored when Nyjer Morgan legged out an infield hit.

Elliot Johnson led off the third for the Indians with a single and moved to second when Miley walked Nick Swisher.

Johnson then scored when Jason Kipnis singled up the middle as the Indians went up 2-0.

In the fourth, Morgan was credited with an infield hit when Miley was late covering first base on a grounder hit to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

David Murphy then ripped a double to the gap in right-center to score Morgan and give Cleveland a 3-0 advantage.

Rudy Flores and Sean Jamieson drove in runs during Arizona's two-run seventh inning after reliever Josh Collmenter worked 2 1/3 hitless innings.

"It means we've played pretty good baseball, which I love," Francona said of finishing 19-8-2 in Cactus League play. "I don't care who we're putting out there, I'd much rather win." 

Up next: The Indians depart Arizona and travel to Southern California on Friday to begin a two-game weekend exhibition series against the Padres on the campus of the University of San Diego. Right-hander Zach McAllister, Cleveland's No. 3 starter, will get the nod in the opener for his final preseason tuneup, beginning at 9:10 p.m. ET. In his last outing, McAllister worked six innings against the Angels, surrendering three runs on six hits. The Indians expect to play all their regulars Friday in a game that can be seen on MLB.TV and heard via Gameday Audio.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Cleveland Indians