Strasburg returns but Indians blank NationalsJun 16, 2013 - 11:47 PM Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Corey Kluber fired eight outstanding innings to spoil Stephen Strasburg's return to the mound and lead the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 victory in the finale of a three-game interleague series at Progressive Field.
Sidelined since May 31 with a strained lat muscle, Strasburg (3-6) was limited to just five innings and 82 pitches upon being activated from the disabled list prior to the contest. The ace righty yielded only one hit -- Carlos Santana's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth -- while walking four in a solid effort.
Kluber (5-4) was better, however, pitching out of several jams and striking out eight without a walk before turning the game over to Vinny Pestano, who tossed a scoreless ninth to close out Cleveland's fourth win in five games.
"He just completely kept his composure and executed his pitches with all that traffic out there," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Kluber. "That was very impressive."
The Nationals stranded seven runners -- five at either second or third base -- on the afternoon while going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Anthony Rendon had three of Washington's seven hits and Jayson Werth finished 2-for-3 in the loss, the Nationals' second of the set.
Strasburg struggled a bit with his command early on, issuing two of his walks during a scoreless opening inning before retiring the side in order over the next two frames. He walked Jason Kipnis for a second time with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but couldn't escape without any damage on this occasion.
Kipnis proceeded to steal second before Santana delivered Cleveland's first hit of the day, a sharp single up the middle that broke the scoreless deadlock.
"I thought he had good stuff but he just didn't have his command," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Strasburg. "He threw a lot of pitches in five innings, actually we wanted to hold him to 75 [pitches]."
Washington had a golden opportunity to move in front during the top of the fourth, as Rendon led off with a single and reached third when Tribe third baseman John McDonald threw errantly on a force attempt after fielding Ryan Zimmerman's grounder.
Kluber was up to the challenge, though, striking out Adam LaRoche, Werth and Ian Desmond in succession to keep it a 0-0 game.
The right-hander worked out of another jam in the sixth, which began with consecutive singles by Denard Span and Rendon that placed runners at the corners with none out. Zimmerman struck out, however, and Kluber got LaRoche to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Washington made another bid to score in the seventh, with Werth doubling down the right-field line to start things off and the Nationals loading the bases with no out on a hit batter and a bunt single.
The Nats again came up empty, as Steve Lombardozzi was doubled off first on Jhonathan Solano's line drive and Roger Bernadina grounded harmlessly to short for the third out.
Cleveland was able to create some breathing room in the bottom of the eighth, with Michael Bourn coming through with a double off Craig Stammen and later coming home on Kipnis' sacrifice fly.
Rendon went 7-for-12 in the series and is batting .462 (18-for-39) during a 10-game hitting streak ... Kipnis extended his hit streak to 10 games as well with a sixth-inning single ... Strasburg had won four consecutive interleague starts and entered the matchup 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA in seven career outings against the AL ... Cleveland improved to 18-7 over its last 25 home games.
- WASHINGTON: 0
Jun 16 3:46 PM
- Jason Kipnis sacrifice fly to right scored Michael Bourn with two out. None on and Carlos Santana due up.
Nationals 0, Indians 2 Bot 8, 2 OutsJun 16 3:36 PM
- Carlos Santana single to center scored Jason Kipnis with one out. Runner on first and Michael Brantley due up.
Nationals 0, Indians 1 Bot 4, 1 OutJun 16 2:20 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 16 1:08 PM
- Mets-Nationals Preview May 23
- Indians-White Sox Preview May 23
- Indians' Joba Chamberlain (chest muscle) on disabled list May 23
- LEADING OFF: Kershaw tests streak vs Reds, Colon faces Nats May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Ventura steps up, but Royals fall short, 3-2 May 22
- Ortiz gets 4 hits, Bradley's streak at 27, Bosox top Indians May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22
- Scherzer pitches 8 innings to help Nats beat Marlins 8-2 May 22
- Nationals-Marlins Preview May 22
- Nats' 9th-inning rally comes up short in 3-2 loss at Miami May 21
- Jose Fernandez pitches Marlins past Nationals 3-2 May 21