Not even Mother Nature can stop hot Pirates
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — Josh Harrison hit a three-run homer and Gregory Polanco had a two-run triple off Corey Kluber in his return, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cleveland Indians 7-0 in a six-inning, rain-shortened game Monday night for their 10th straight win.
The game was called following three rain delays that totaled 2 hours, 3 minutes. The first pitch was delayed 55 minutes, and a delay of 27 minutes followed in the third inning. The final delay was 41 minutes.
Kluber (12-6), starting for the first time since July 12 because of a sore right knee, was charged with seven runs — three earned — in four innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner gave up nine hits, struck out two and threw 72 pitches.
Trevor Williams (8-7) pitched six shutout innings for the Pirates, who have won 10 in a row for the first time since June 26-July 5, 2004.
Harrison’s three-run homer in the second came after two defensive miscues, including a dropped popup by first baseman Yonder Alonso with two outs. The error made all four runs in the inning unearned. Polanco’s triple capped a three-run fourth.
Harrison played for the first time since July 15 because of a sore hamstring. Starling Marte extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with two hits and two RBIs. Corey Dickerson, who had homered in four straight games, was 1 for 3 with a walk.
Although the Indians hold a comfortable lead in the AL Central, Kluber’s issues are cause for concern. The right-hander received an injection after his last start and said the knee had bothered him for a few weeks.
The Indians gave him 10 days between starts with help from the All-Star break. Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his first 14 starts, but is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA in his last seven.
Colin Moran singled with one out in the second. Josh Bell hit a roller to right side that looked like a sure double-play ball, but second baseman Jason Kipnis couldn’t field it cleanly and settled for a force play.
Alonso and third baseman Jose Ramirez converged on the mound for David Freese’s popup. Alonso got a glove on the ball, but he couldn’t hold on after the two nearly collided. He was charged with an error.
Harrison followed by belting an 0-2 pitch into the left field bleachers. Jordy Mercer doubled, Dickerson walked and Marte singled for a 4-0 lead. Right fielder Melky Cabrera made a leaping grab in the corner on Polanco’s deep drive to the wall to finally end the 32-pitch inning.
Williams, who allowed four hits, was credited with his first career complete game and shutout.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (concussion) worked out before the game — blocking balls, catching popups and throwing to bases — but he hasn’t been cleared to return.
Indians: Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion was out for the second straight game because of a bone bruise on his right hand. He was hit by a pitch in the final game before the All-Star break. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) will continue his minor league rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Akron. He will pitch every other day this week and then pitch on back-to-back days this weekend.
Pirates RHP Joe Musgrove (3-4, 4.08 ERA) takes on Indians RHP Shane Bieber (5-1, 3.53 ERA) in the second game of the series. Bieber will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus.