CLEVELAND (AP) - Corey Kluber stared blankly ahead, unaware the fans sitting near Cleveland’s dugout were giving him a standing ovation.
Kluber was all alone. It’s been that way all season.
For the fifth time, Kluber received no runs as the Indians were blanked 6-0 on Friday night by Chicago’s Jose Quintana, who recorded his first career shutout and complete game.
Kluber (5-11) deserved a better fate. The reigning Cy Young Award winner allowed just two runs in the first seven innings before the White Sox touched him for four in the eighth, when he acknowledged trying to do too much.
“I was pretty good for the first seven and then in the eighth (Adam) Eaton got on and I kind of let the situation of the game probably get the best of me,” Kluber said. “I started pitching around, let them score another run instead of just going pitch-to-pitch and sticking with what works. I guess I kind of got ahead of myself, would be the right way to put it.”
It was the 18th time in 21 starts for Kluber that the Indians have scored three runs or fewer. Cleveland has scored just 43 runs when Kluber is on the mound.
“Yeah, that’s a shame,” manager Terry Francona said. “He goes into the eighth giving up two (runs) and gives up two more and we get him and we’re trying to hold it there and it’s a shame because he sure pitched a heck of a lot better than that.”
The Indians had scored nine runs for Kluber last week against Cincinnati, but it was back to a familiar pattern against the White Sox.
“Honestly I don’t even know what my statistics are,” Kluber said. “I honestly just try to go from start to start, whether it’s a good or bad result I just try to move on to the next one so, obviously this one wasn’t good so I’ll just try to get ready for the next one.”
Quintana (5-9) got his first win since July 1, and the left-hander did it with customary control and efficiency. He did not allow a walk and hasn’t yielded a base on balls in five of his past six starts. The Indians only got two runners as far as second base against Quintana, who struck out eight and improved to 5-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 13 starts against Cleveland.
“Early on we had some hits and we had a couple opportunities and we didn’t do anything with them,” Francona said. “He just got real comfortable out there.”
The Indians fell to 19-28 at home, and they are beginning to run out of time to turn around what has been a disappointing season to this point.
Kluber is trying to stay confident.
“Nobody’s been eliminated from anything yet,” he said. “We’ve got everything to play for as we did at the beginning of the season still.”
Abreu’s 15th homer gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
With two outs, he connected on Kluber’s first pitch, hitting a towering shot over the wall in left-center. It was Abreu’s ninth career homer in 27 games against Cleveland.
Kluber was still in it before the White Sox broke the game open in the eighth on the two two-run doubles. The right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third with an assist from Kluber.
Ramirez led off with a single and stole second, just beating catcher Yan Gomes’ one-skip throw. Ramirez moved up on a groundout and scored when Kluber unleashed a wild pitch.
The Indians ran themselves out of a potential rally in the third. With Jason Kipnis on first and two outs, Michael Brantley hit an infield single to deep short. Kipnis, though, rounded second too hard and was alertly caught off the bag by Ramirez, who threw behind Cleveland’s second baseman.
The Indians dropped to 14-24 in the AL Central, including 4-12 at home.
Indians: Nick Swisher (knee inflammation) went 0 for 4 while serving as the DH at Double-A Akron. Francona said Swisher will work out in Cleveland on Saturday and play consecutive games for the RubberDucks before the Indians determine his next move.
White Sox: LHP Chris Sale entered the weekend leading the AL in strikeouts with 163, including 137 over his last 13 starts. He is 3-4 in his career against Cleveland with a 3.97 ERA.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, whose name has been mentioned in some trade rumors, is riding a four-game winning streak against the AL Central. He’s 4-0 inside the division since May 6. He’s 1-1 versus the White Sox this season.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.