Corey Kluber tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and pinch-hitter Michael Bourn hit a two-run double to key a three-run seventh frame to lift the Cleveland Indians past the Kansas City Royals, 3-0, in the opener of a three-game set at Progressive Field.
Kluber (7-5) scattered three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts to earn a win for the first time in his last four starts. Kluber has never walked more than four batters in an outing.
"He had his stuff working, keeping them off balance," said Bourn about Kluber's performance. "He was the one that won it with seven innings no earned runs."
The exit of Royals starter Bruce Chen sparked Cleveland's offense. In his first start of the season, Chen allowed just one hit and a walk in six innings of work.
"I'm very happy with the way I pitched today," said Chen. "I did everything I could to help the team win, the other club was just a little bit better."
Tim Collins (2-4) took the mound in the seventh and was welcomed by consecutive singles from Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher. Aaron Crow replaced Collins, but the result was the same as Carlos Santana lined a base hit up the middle to plate Kipnis. Mark Reynolds bunted to the left of the mound into no- man's land to load the bases with no outs. Bourn followed by smacking a double to right.
David Lough had a triple and Mike Moustakas recorded two of the five hits for the Royals, who have lost three straight.
Cody Allen sure made things interesting in the ninth inning. With a man on and two outs, Allen surrendered a base hit and walk to load the bases. Allen, though, struck out Jarrod Dyson, his third strikeout victim of the inning, to secure the victory and his second save of the season.
Each team had runners in scoring position with no outs in the fifth inning but both came away empty.
Lough led off the frame with a triple under the glove of a diving Swisher at first base. Kluber walked two batters with eight straight balls to load the bases with one out. After striking out Alex Gordon, Kluber was able to get Eric Hosmer to groundout to escape unscathed.
The Indians first hit came in the bottom half with a Santana leadoff double to right but Chen made sure he stayed put by retiring the next three batters.
One day after winning his major league debut, Cleveland optioned pitcher Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus ... The Indians are 6-5 against the Royals this year ... Allen became the 10th Cleveland reliever since 1916 to record at least 50 strikeouts in the first half of the season ... Kansas City went 0- for-4 with runners in scoring position, while Cleveland finished 3-for-10 ... The Indians are 34-16 when starters go six-plus innings.