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Indians ride Kluber, hot start to 10th straight W

September 2, 2017

DETROIT -- The Indians stretched their winning streak to 10 behind eight strong innings from Corey Kluber and three RBIs from Abraham Almonte for a 5-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park.The Tribe has its longest winning streak since winning 14 in a row last summer.

DETROIT -- The Indians stretched their winning streak to 10 behind eight strong innings from Corey Kluber and three RBIs from Abraham Almonte for a 5-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park.
The Tribe has its longest winning streak since winning 14 in a row last summer. Its last six wins have come on the road, including three in a row in this four-game series. The Indians remained eight games ahead of the second-place Twins in the American League Central standings.
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Kluber (14-4) earned his sixth win in his last seven starts and his fifth consecutive road victory, while furthering his late charge into the AL Cy Young Award discussion. He used his nasty combination of offspeed and breaking balls to strike out seven batters while yielding no walks, reaching just a trio of three-ball counts.
"I think you have to be aggressive against him and try to hit and run and such," said acting manager Gene Lamont, with manager Brad Ausmus serving his suspension, "but when they get ahead 4-0 and you don't get a whole lot of guys on base, it's tough to do that. He's a good pitcher. He's won a Cy Young, good chance to get another one. You have to scratch and claw any way you can."

Kluber improved to 7-7 lifetime against Detroit, avenging a May 2 loss at Comerica Park. Six of his eight hits allowed came from Alex Presley, who posted his first career four-hit game, and John Holaday, who drove in Detroit's first run with an RBI single in the seventh.

Jordan Zimmermann (8-12) gave up five runs on 12 hits over five innings for the loss -- four runs and six hits came in the first inning alone.

Kluber was just trying to attack the strike zone while working with a large early lead.
"You obviously have that big cushion to work with, and you're always trying to go out there and pound the strike zone, but even more so at that point," Kluber said. "You've got a four-run lead, and it takes the wind out of their sails, too."

Myles Jaye threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of impressive relief in his Major League debut, keeping the Tigers in position to mount a late rally. Jose Iglesias' RBI single brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth against closer Cody Allen, who retired Ian Kinsler for his 23rd save.

Allen set an Indians record with his 374th relief appearance, passing Eric Plunk.

Setting the table: The Indians jumped all over Zimmermann in the first inning, starting with back-to-back triples from Bradley Zimmer and Jose Ramirez. Almonte poured it on with a two-out, two-run single that gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead.

"It's really good, and [Kluber] made it hold up," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We didn't do a lot after that, but it's a good way to play, especially when Kluber's pitching."

Happy Holaday: Holaday, called up from Triple-A Toledo when rosters expanded on Friday, entered the day 5-for-11 in his career off Kluber. A third-inning double on a line drive past a diving Zimmer improved Holaday to .500, but he saved his bigger impact for the seventh inning, lining another single to right-center to drive in Michael Mahtook and improve to 7-for-14.
"I'm just trying to get a good pitch to hit and then put it in play," Holaday said. "It's just one of those things, I guess."

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Zimmer exited in the fourth inning, a half-inning after he tried to make a diving play on a Holaday double. Zimmer was evaluated for a possible concussion, but immediate tests were negative, Francona said after the game. Zimmer was not available for comment, but he told reporters in passing that he thinks he will be fine. The Indians will continue to monitor his status.

Greg Allen pinch-hit for Zimmer in the fourth and went on to record his first Major League hit in the sixth. More >

The Tigers fell 19 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season, when they finished 71-91. They hired Jim Leyland as manager the day after that season ended.
The Tigers gained a leadoff baserunner in the seventh, when Lamont challenged an out call at second base. Mahtook was originally ruled out at second trying to stretch a double, but replay showed second baseman Ramirez didn't apply his tag until Mahtook had his left hand on the bag. Mahtook scored two batters later.

Another replay review in the ninth overturned an out call at first. It took 44 seconds for officials to determine that Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario beat Ramirez's throw to first for a single that put two on with nobody out.

Indians:Josh Tomlin (7-9, 5.38 ERA) will start for the Indians in the series finale Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET, making his return from the disabled list after missing more than a month with a hamstring injury. Tomlin made a rehab start at Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley last week and allowed five runs (one earned) on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Tigers:Chad Bell (0-1, 5.48) will make his first Major League start after spending much of the summer in Detroit's bullpen as the series wraps up. Bell, a starter at Triple-A Toledo before being recalled for September roster expansion, will fill in for injured Michael Fulmer.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Kyle Beery is a contributor to based in Detroit and covered the Indians on Saturday.