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Peralta breaks up no-hitter, impressed by Kluber

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Jhonny Peralta and the Cardinals had an idea of what they were in for with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber going against them on Wednesday night.

What Peralta knew is that Kluber had good stuff. What Peralta didn't know is that he'd have to break up a no-hitter in the seventh inning. And that it would be the only hit the Cardinals would have all game.

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Jhonny Peralta and the Cardinals had an idea of what they were in for with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber going against them on Wednesday night.

What Peralta knew is that Kluber had good stuff. What Peralta didn't know is that he'd have to break up a no-hitter in the seventh inning. And that it would be the only hit the Cardinals would have all game.

Full Game Coverage

Kluber became the first pitcher in Major League history to strike out 18 batters in just eight innings while allowing less than two hits and no walks, as the Indians won, 2-0.

"I've been around the league for 10 or 11 years but I've only seen a couple guys look like that," Peralta said. "Felix Hernandez is one of the guys that has looked similar to him. Couple of guys have looked like him, but 18 strikeouts is a lot."

After hitting Matt Holliday in the first inning, Kluber retired 18 consecutive Cardinals batters before Peralta came up to bat with two outs in the seventh inning. He'd struck out 12 of the previous 14 batters faced, and at one point had struck out six in a row.

Video: STL@CLE: Carpenter on challenge of facing Kluber

Kluber had just struck out Matt Carpenter and Pete Kozma to start the seventh, but quickly fell behind 2-0 to Peralta.

"He put me in two-ball count right away and that's the only way we could get a hit," Peralta said. "On 2-0, I knew he was coming with a fastball. He threw it in the middle right there."

Peralta got a 93-mph sinker and hit a ground ball up the middle that just snuck by shortstop Jose Ramirez's extended reach.

"Can't do anything about a ground ball finding the hole," Kluber said. "Fell behind, but still made a decent pitch. Just hit it where they weren't."

Peralta and the Cardinals knew Kluber would be a tough task. They just didn't know the extent of what was to come.

"I said in the meeting before we faced him, 'This guy can pitch, so be ready,'" Peralta said. "We weren't ready."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

 

St. Louis Cardinals, Jhonny Peralta