MILWAUKEE -- For a moment, it looked like the Indians might be on the verge of a breakout performance.Cleveland had two on with one out in the first inning Tuesday night at Milwaukee and watched as Brewers starter Wade Miley left the game with an oblique injury, with Corey Kluber waiting
MILWAUKEE -- For a moment, it looked like the Indians might be on the verge of a breakout performance.
Cleveland had two on with one out in the first inning Tuesday night at Milwaukee and watched as Brewers starter Wade Miley left the game with an oblique injury, with Corey Kluber waiting to throw his first pitch.
So much for that plan.
Instead, Kluber gave up two home runs -- including one to Miley's replacement, left-hander Brent Suter -- and lasted a season-low six innings as the Indians fell to the Brewers, 3-2, extending their losing streak to a season-high four games.
Kluber had earned a victory in each of his last five starts, posting a 2.41 ERA in those outings.
"I thought he was getting under a few pitches, but he made some adjustments along the way and I thought the last couple innings were really good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Saying that, he gave up three, but we had a hard time putting runs up on the board."
After Suter stranded both runners in the top of the first, Kluber had two outs in the bottom of the frame when he hung a 2-2 curveball over the plate to Travis Shaw, who got all of it for his seventh home run of the season, giving Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Jose Ramirez got Cleveland on the board with a solo homer off Suter in the third, but the Milwaukee left-hander smashed Kluber's first offering in the Brewers' half of the inning to center field for the first home run of his career, restoring a two-run cushion.
"I don't know anything about him as far as a scouting report and stuff, so I tried going with a fastball away," Kluber said. "You just have to tip your hat. He went out there and got it, put a good swing on it and hit a home run."
The Indians got within a run again when Francisco Lindor led off the fifth with his ninth home run of the season, but Suter retired the next three in order and Milwaukee's bullpen took over and notched four perfect innings from right-handers Jeremy Jeffress and Dan Jennings and left-hander Josh Hader, who worked the final two innings and picked up his fifth save.
"It's frustrating. I'm not going to lie, but it's part of the game," said Lindor. "We understand there will be stretches when we don't score as many runs. I feel like we had good at-bats. We just left seven or eight people on base. It's tough luck."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Clutch relief: Milwaukee threatened to break the game open in the eighth, loading the bases with two out against Indians reliever Tyler Olson. Francona summoned Zach McAllister from the bullpen to face Manny Pina, and after a 14-pitch battle, McAllister got the Brewers catcher looking at a curveball for strike three to end the threat.
"They gave us a chance," Francona said. "After Evan [Marshall] had a good inning, Tyler got the ground balls he needed after letting some guys on base, and Zach ... that was a great at-bat against Pina, and he ended up getting him out on a breaking ball. They gave us a chance."
The Indians' bullpen entered Tuesday's game with a 10.06 ERA over its 12 previous games.
Tuesday marked the first time Kluber allowed multiple home runs in consecutive starts. He gave up three his last time out against Texas and followed that up with two more Tuesday in Milwaukee, giving him eight in his last four starts. Coming into tonight, he'd allowed three home runs combined in 19 career Interleague starts over 135 2/3 innings.
HE SAID IT
"That's what hitters try to do now. They try to hit home runs. If you make mistakes and they're trying to hit a home run, that's bound to happen. It basically comes down to the pitches I'm giving up home runs on. There's been a couple of good pitches, but for the most part, they were mistakes. Guys are doing what they're supposed to do with them." -- Kluber, on allowing 10 home runs through eight starts this season, including five in his last two starts
Carlos Carrasco (4-1, 3.95 ERA) looks to snap out of a funk Wednesday afternoon when the Indians wrap up their two-game series at Miller Park at 1:10 p.m. ET. Carrasco is 0-1 with a 10.90 ERA over his past two starts and allowed six runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays his last time out. He has never faced the Brewers, who'll be looking for a bounce-back start of their own out of right-hander Junior Guerra (2-2, 2.33).
Andrew Wagner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.