BALTIMORE -- The Indians unloaded for 17 hits, including seven doubles, and Corey Kluber rolled with a shutout as Cleveland cruised to its sixth consecutive win with Monday's 12-0 series-opening victory over Baltimore.The win keeps the Tribe (37-31) atop the American League Central -- a season-high three games up on
BALTIMORE -- The Indians unloaded for 17 hits, including seven doubles, and Corey Kluber rolled with a shutout as Cleveland cruised to its sixth consecutive win with Monday's 12-0 series-opening victory over Baltimore.
The win keeps the Tribe (37-31) atop the American League Central -- a season-high three games up on Minnesota -- and it is their 13th in the past 20 games. By contrast, the O's (34-35) have lost nine of 12.
"I think we are doing a good job of focusing more on that day at hand," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "Coming to the ballpark with the goal of winning that game that day. We're not worrying about other stuff. We've made an emphasis about it, and I think you've seen kind of a different team, a different energy with us the last week. It only shows us what we can do when we bring that energy. It's kind of teaching us our own lesson. It's been a fun week for us."
Cleveland's offense was led by Carlos Santana, who had a two-run homer and drove in three, and Austin Jackson, who notched two doubles and three RBIs.
Red-hot Jose Ramirez, named AL Player of the Week, had three hits and scored twice. Kipnis also went deep for the Tribe, blasting a ball to Eutaw Street off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy in the fifth.
"It was nice to see Santana hit a home run right-handed, then left-handed, hit a ball in his last at-bat in the left-center-field gap," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Those were things that will serve him well. Then Jackson had the two big hits, and the one he probably hit the best got caught at the wall. Kip swung the bat. We did a lot of good things. We scored and then we kept at it. You know, put our foot on the gas. These nights are rare, but you'll take them."
The hit parade was plenty for Kluber, who breezed through nine innings and held the Orioles to three hits over 108 pitches. Kluber, who posted his second shutout of the year -- as well as the 12th complete game and 5th shutout of his career -- picked up his sixth win in the process.
"There's a reason why he won the Cy Young," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Kluber, who struck out a season-high 11. "Any time you can cut the ball, two-seam it, move the other way, then slow you down with something soft. He had everything working. Certainly getting behind like we did tonight ... it puts even more pressure on our offense, because you know he's usually not going to give up much."
Bundy, meanwhile, turned in his shortest outing of the season with 4 1/3 innings. He was charged with six earned runs, two of them scoring on Santana's homer off Vidal Nuno after Bundy exited. The Orioles have now allowed five or more runs in 16 consecutive games.
"It's hard to pitch against anybody up here," Bundy said of facing Kluber. "But it was just poor execution and pitches right down the middle in hitter's counts tonight."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Santana goes deep: After Kipnis' solo blast put the Indians up, 5-0, Bundy issued a one-out walk to Edwin Encarnacion. Bundy's night ended there, and Santana put the game out of reach with a two-run shot off Nuno, recording his ninth homer of the year.
"You just keep going out there and giving what you got, doing the best you can. It is what it is. This is the team that we have, so we just go out there and play and try to win games." -- Seth Smith, on the Orioles' loss
"I mean, that's your goal every game, to try to finish it. Obviously, it doesn't happen more often than it does, but I think we had a lot of baseball that we've played this last weekend. [The bullpen] covered a lot of innings for us, so that's my added bonus with it." -- Kluber, on his complete game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
In the fourth inning, Ramirez set a club record for the Indians, picking up a double in his seventh consecutive game. Three pitches later, Encarnacion lined his 1,500th career double.
Kipnis' homer was the 90th Eutaw Street home run in Oriole Park history and the 50th by an opponent. It marked the first career Eutaw Street homer for Kipnis.
Indians: The Indians, looking for seven straight wins, will put Josh Tomlin on the rubber for the second game of the four-game set against the Orioles. The righty is coming off of a five-inning outing where he allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out seven to pick up a win against the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
Orioles: The Orioles will send Chris Tillman to the mound for Tuesday night's game at Camden Yards on MLB.TV. In the right-hander's last start, he allowed five earned runs on a season-high 11 hits through 5 1/3 innings. Tillman's ERA is up to 8.07 after allowing 14 runs, including four home runs, through just 6 2/3 innings over his past two starts.
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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.