Indians turn to Kluber for opener with Royals
(SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Kluber rocks in Cleveland, but what the right- hander hasn't consistently shown is whether he can do so in other places, too.
Another chance comes Thursday night in Kansas City, where he takes the hill for the Indians as they return to Kauffman Stadium to open a four-game series with the host Royals.
Kluber is 4-1 in his last five starts with a stingy 1.96 earned run average after toppling Detroit, 6-2, on Saturday.
"I'm not trying to strike guys out. My game plan is to go out there and pound the strike zone," Kluber said. "If it happens to get some swing-and-misses, great. If it happens to get some early outs, great."
He was a 4-1 winner over the Royals in Cleveland on July 6 -- allowing one run and striking out 10 in 8 1/3 innings -- and also defeated Kansas City, 5-1, while striking out 11 at home on April 24.
In one start between those two at Kansas City, however, he was raked for six runs in a 9-5 loss on June 10. Over five road starts against the Royals, he's won just once and his ERA has soared to 6.15.
Cleveland was leading the majors with its July record until dropping two of three against Minnesota earlier this week. The Indians have dropped three of four overall while hitting a collective .214.
"We just didn't do much offensively," manager Terry Francona said.
Kansas City had lost four straight before rebounding with consecutive defeats of the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lefty Danny Duffy gets the call for the opener with Cleveland in the midst of a hard-luck stretch that's seen him go 1-5 in six starts with a 2.41 ERA.
He's gotten four runs of support in the five losses.
In a matchup with Kluber earlier this month, Duffy allowed 10 hits in six innings. In three starts against the Indians, all in Cleveland, he's 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA.
The Royals have won six of their last seven versus Cleveland at home.
07/24 10:58:54 ET