Published May 09, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Kluber will attempt to build off a record-setting start from last time out as he toes the rubber on Friday night for the Cleveland Indians in the first of three straight against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kluber was excellent last Sunday versus the Chicago White Sox, who he held to just one run on three hits and two walks over eight innings. He also struck out a career-high 13, including a club-record seven straight during a span between the third and fifth innings.
The righty, though, did not get a decision in his club's 4-3 loss after the bullpen yielded a three-run homer in the ninth inning.
"He did everything today," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Kluber on his team's website. "He's so aggressive with the bigger hitters in their lineup. He came in hard, kind of stood them up, opened up the plate for everything else."
Kluber has fanned 29 batters over his last three starts and is 2-3 on the season with a 3.60 earned run average. The 28-year-old has faced the Rays just once before, hurling two scoreless innings.
Cleveland hits the road after taking the final three contests of a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins, winning Thursday's finale 9-4. Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley both fell a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three runs each.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson picked up the win, allowing four runs -- two earned -- on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked four and struck out seven, helping the Indians go 5-2 during a seven-game homestand.
Both losses came by a single run.
"We had a chance to almost sweep the entire (homestand) and that's nice to see," said Masterson.
The Rays come in struggling, getting swept in three games by the Baltimore Orioles. They lost Thursday's finale 3-1 as David Price yielded three runs over five-plus innings.
"You've got to give Baltimore credit. They did work some extended at-bats (against Price), a lot of foul balls," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Evan Longoria drove in Tampa Bay's lone run and Yunel Escobar doubled as the Rays lost for the fourth time in five games.
Jake Odorizzi will try again to right his recent struggles as he takes the hill for the Rays.
Odorizzi has been lights out the first time through the order, when teams are hitting just .140. However, clubs have rebounded to hit .465 off the righty the second time through and that trend continued in Saturday's meeting with the New York Yankees.
Odorizzi retired the first nine batters faced, but failed to hold a 3-0 lead as the Yankees eventually got to him for three runs on five hits and two walks over four frames. The 24-year-old took a no-decision and is 1-3 with a 6.83 ERA on the year.
Winless since his season debut on April 4, Odorizzi is 0-1 in two previous meetings with the Indians while posting a 4.91 ERA.
The Rays won four of six versus the Indians last season.