CLEVELAND -- For the first time in more than seven weeks, Padres starter Trevor Cahill took the mound for Tuesday's 1-0 win over the Indians. In his first start since May 13, Cahill had a tough task in his return from the disabled list (right shoulder strain), as he had to match up with All-Star Corey Kluber in the series opener at Progressive Field.
Despite the difficult assignment, Cahill came through with a strong, although abbreviated, outing. The Padres right-hander went 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks. He recorded four strikeouts and seven groundouts.
"[There was] a lot of adrenaline [tonight], more so than I'm used to pitching with," Cahill said. "We'll see how sore I am tomorrow, but still, right now, I feel fine."
With Cahill back, the Padres could have a better sense of stability in their starting rotation. Manager Andy Green is hopeful that Cahill's performance can help boost the rotation going forward.
"I thought, all things together, he didn't miss a beat," Green said. "He was right back the way he was before. I think maybe not quite the fastball command he's had before, but the breaking stuff was off the charts."
Cahill's breaking ball is one of his strongest pitches, and he went to it when he didn't have a feel for his sinker. Per Statcast™, Cahill threw his knucklecurve 16 times, resulting in three called strikes and two swinging strikes. Only three of those pitches were put in play.
"Fastball command wasn't that great," Cahill said. "[Catcher Austin Hedges] is good at kind of figuring out what's working and adjusting the report mid-game. We felt like we were on the same page. There were a couple of stressful innings, but I was able to get out of them."
A big key to Cahill's success was keeping the Tribe's first four hitters -- Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion -- off the bases. That group combined to go 0-for-7 with a walk, three strikeouts and four groundouts against Cahill.
"It's more than just making your pitches, you've got to sometimes outthink them, because they are smart hitters, and they put the bat on the ball," Cahill said. "Fortunately, I was able to get some ground balls and some strikeouts when I needed them."
Cahill worked through jams in the second, third and fourth, but Green opted to pull Cahill after 85 pitches with two runners on and one out in the fifth. Reliever Jose Torres got the final two outs of the fifth for the win, leaving Cahill with a no-decision.
"We weren't able to get them in," Indians bench coach Brad Mills said. "Cahill's ball was moving all over the place. It would've been nice [if] we tried to get up in those situations a little bit. But at the same time, he pitched well. It was effective, so he kept doing it."