Kluber no stranger to overcoming April woes

Kluber no stranger to overcoming April woes

CLEVELAND -- Given the incredible ending to Corey Kluber's season a year ago -- a performance that culminated with an unexpected victory in the balloting for the American League's Cy Young Award -- it is easy to forget how his breakout showing began.

Kluber's overpowering 2014 started a lot like this season: unremarkably.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miscues, shaky Kluber spell defeat for Tribe

Miscues, shaky Kluber spell defeat for Tribe

CLEVELAND -- The Royals took advantage of an off night for reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and a rough showing from Cleveland's defense to claim a 6-2 victory over the Tribe on Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.

The Royals came into the series having lost two straight games, and manager Ned Yost was wary of a third against Kluber.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher set to ramp up rehab assignment

Swisher set to ramp up rehab assignment

CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher is almost ready to rejoin the Indians. And believe it or not, the energetic outfielder is excited.

On Monday, Swisher was on hand at Progressive Field to go through a workout and meet with manager Terry Francona, general manager Chris Antonetti and the team's training staff to formulate a plan for the coming week. The veteran outfielder played a pair of Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Columbus over the weekend, going 3-for-5 on Friday and 2-for-4 on Sunday.

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August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians preaching patience with Ramirez, Lindor

Top prospect Lindor off to hot start in Triple-A, but GM Antonetti staying course

Indians preaching patience with Ramirez, Lindor

CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez is currently living beneath a magnifying glass. The Indians' shortstop is off to a slow start, and each out made in the batter's box or missed play in the field only increases the public cries for top prospect Francisco Lindor.

The Indians are still preaching patience.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bauer, Guthrie to duel as Tribe, Royals continue set

Bauer, Guthrie to duel as Tribe, Royals continue set

The Royals will send out right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (1-1, 5.50 ERA) to counter Indians hard-throwing right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-0, 0.95 ERA) when the American League Central foes continue their series on Tuesday at Progressive Field. The matchup will pit a Stanford alum (Guthrie) against a UCLA product in Bauer.

Three things you should know about this game:

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber rings up Cain for 500th career strikeout

Kluber rings up Cain for 500th career strikeout

CLEVELAND -- Lorenzo Cain stood and watched as a 94-mph sinking fastball from Corey Kluber caught the outside corner of the plate for strike three. The sixth-inning strikeout marked Kluber's fifth of the game on Monday, but a milestone in the bigger picture.

It was Kluber's 500th career strikeout, in just his 80th game. In Indians history, only Herb Score, who pitched from 1955-62, reached 500 strikeouts faster than Kluber. Score needed just 68 games.

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August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bauer good to go after bout with food poisoning

Bauer good to go after bout with food poisoning

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer has recovered from his bout with food poisoning over the weekend, and the right-hander is slated to return to the rubber on Tuesday against the Royals.

Bauer warmed up to make his originally scheduled start on Saturday against the Tigers, but he was scratched 40 minutes prior while dealing with the aftermath of a bad plate of hotel room service fettuccine alfredo.

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August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians feel sense of urgency after difficult trip

After dropping to 1-5 vs. Detroit, Tribe trying to avoid falling too far behind in race

Indians feel sense of urgency after difficult trip

DETROIT -- Near the end of last season, when the Indians were fighting to remain in the hunt for an American League Wild Card spot, Michael Bourn stood at his locker in Cleveland and discussed why the club's back was up against the wall. The veteran said it stemmed in part from the Tribe's slow start in April.

"I just think that we have to win early," Bourn said at the time. "You don't want to put yourself in that situation."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss stays hot but late rally falls short in finale

Moss stays hot but late rally falls short in finale

DETROIT -- Left-hander Kyle Lobstein logged seven solid innings, stymieing the Indians' lineup and leading the Tigers to an 8-6 victory on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park. Detroit took the series and improved to 5-1 against Cleveland this season.

The Tribe, which fell to 1-6 against left-handed starters this year, managed only three runs on six hits against Lobstein, who struck out four and walked two in his second win over the Indians this year. The lefty was supported by a three-hit day from slugger Miguel Cabrera, who launched a two-run home run (his third on the season -- all against Cleveland) in the sixth.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomes joins team in Detroit, remains on schedule

Catcher two weeks into rehab of sprained right knee

Gomes joins team in Detroit, remains on schedule

DETROIT -- Yan Gomes had enough of watching the Indians from home, so the sidelined catcher made the drive to Detroit and has spent the past two days with his teammates at Comerica Park.

Gomes is currently on the disabled list rehabbing the sprained right knee he injured on April 11 during a play at the plate against the Tigers. For the past two weeks, Cleveland's starting catcher has been focusing on strengthening his knee, and he quipped that the medical staff is probably sick of him by now.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona pulls Bourn out of leadoff role

Veteran outfielder to bat lower in order for now

Francona pulls Bourn out of leadoff role

DETROIT -- Michael Bourn has spent the bulk of his career walking into a clubhouse and knowing that his name would be penciled in at the top of the lineup. On Sunday, the veteran saw his name in the ninth spot of the batting order.

Indians manager Terry Francona discussed the change with Bourn after Saturday's loss in Detroit.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brantley returning to All-Star form after back injury

Outfielder on hot streak since missing games earlier this season

Brantley returning to All-Star form after back injury

DETROIT -- While the Indians are still trying to get their offense firing on all cylinders, a source of consistency has returned to the heart of the lineup.

All-Star Michael Brantley churned out four hits in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Tigers, providing more hope that the left fielder is getting over the lower-back issue that sidelined him for six of the first eight games this season. Brantley might not yet be back to full strength, but he has recovered enough to produce again for Cleveland's laboring lineup.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

House's early struggles continue in spot start

Lefty searching for rhythm after third straight loss

House's early struggles continue in spot start

DETROIT -- Indians lefty TJ House was expecting to face the Royals in his next start. That plan was scrapped less than an hour before Saturday's game in Detroit, where starter Trevor Bauer came down with food poisoning and was too sick to take the mound for Cleveland.

The old adage in baseball is that it is a game of adjustments. The circumstances proved too daunting for House to handle.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brantley's bat not enough to back bullpen in Detroit

Brantley's bat not enough to back bullpen in Detroit

DETROIT -- Alfredo Simon became the first Tigers pitcher to win his first four starts in a season since Frank Tanana in 1988, delivering 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to help the Tigers end a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

On a day when Miguel Cabrera walked four times in a game for the first time in his career, Detroit didn't need much offensive output to put Simon ahead for good. With a pair of run-scoring singles, Victor Martinez drove in three, one more run than the entire Tigers lineup produced over the previous two games combined. Two of those runs were scored by Rajai Davis, who added an insurance tally in the fourth when he hit a two-out single, stole second base and scored on Ian Kinsler's double.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bourn showing off healthy legs in center field

Veteran makes crucial catch early in opener vs. Tigers

Bourn showing off healthy legs in center field

DETROIT -- It was the kind of play that can easily get buried within a box score overabundant in offensive exploits. The catch made by center fielder Michael Bourn in the first inning Friday night was not lost on Indians manager Terry Francona.

"That play was a really big play in the game," Francona said.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bauer scratched due to illness, slated to start vs. Royals

Bauer scratched due to illness, slated to start vs. Royals

DETROIT -- The Indians were forced to make a last-minute adjustment to their rotation on Saturday after right-hander Trevor Bauer was unable to get through his warmup routine.

Shortly before Cleveland's 4-1 loss to the Tigers, the Indians announced that Bauer was scratched from his scheduled start due to illness. The right-hander attempted to work through his pregame long-toss program, but had to stop after he continued to feel sick.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss breaks out with career-high 7 RBIs, 2 homers

Moss breaks out with career-high 7 RBIs, 2 homers

DETROIT -- This was the kind of night the Indians had in mind when they traded for Brandon Moss over the offseason. Cleveland envisioned towering home runs from the slugger out of the heart of its lineup, putting pressure on opposing pitchers.

On Friday night, Moss provided precisely that for the Tribe, launching a pair of home runs and piling up a career-high seven RBIs to power his new team to a 13-1 romp over the rival Tigers. Moss wanted to make a strong first impression with Cleveland, but it took a little more than two weeks for him and the rest of the lineup to wake from an early-April slumber.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salazar dominating after starting season in Minors

Righty has 2.08 ERA in two outings after fanning 11, giving up one run Friday

Salazar dominating after starting season in Minors

DETROIT -- Danny Salazar issued a statement in the second inning on Friday night. The young Indians starter slipped into a two-out jam with two runners aboard and was faced the the daunting task of taking on Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.

Salazar fired a 97-mph fastball that tailed over the plate and darted past Cabrera's bat. It was a critical strikeout to end the threat, setting the tone for an overpowering outing from the right-hander. Cleveland's offense followed suit with a surplus of support in a 13-1 rout over Detroit at Comerica Park.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss drives in 7, Salazar K's 11 in rout of Tigers

Moss drives in 7, Salazar K's 11 in rout of Tigers

DETROIT -- After Shane Greene gave up one earned run and posted three wins in as many starts, the Cleveland Indians made it look easy beating the Tigers righty. Brandon Moss homered twice as part of a seven-RBI outburst, sending Greene to his first loss and the Tigers to their fourth in a row as the Indians rolled to a 13-1 win Friday night at Comerica Park.

The 12-run margin was the first double-digit victory for the Indians over the Tigers since April 17, 2008. Detroit had won seven in a row against Cleveland, including three at Progressive Field two weeks ago, since Danny Salazar's shutout against the Tigers on Sept. 3.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher notches 3 hits in first rehab game

Swisher notches 3 hits in first rehab game

DETROIT -- Nick Swisher collected three hits on Friday night in his first Minor League rehab game with Triple-A Columbus. The veteran outfielder is scheduled to suit up again for the Clippers on Sunday before heading back to Cleveland to plan the next portion of his comeback schedule.

"He's going to come into Cleveland Monday, work out with us and we'll kind of sit down with him," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Friday. "It'll be the first time we've seen him in person for a couple weeks. We'll kind of map out maybe the next week after that. He'll play a couple games before that and then we'll sit down and talk to him and kind of see where he thinks he is.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Raburn's bat vs. lefties a weapon for Tribe

Veteran utility man enters weekend series hitting .364 with five doubles

Raburn's bat vs. lefties a weapon for Tribe

DETROIT -- There has been a bright spot in the Indians' offensive issues in the early going this season. While the lineup as a whole has struggled to find a consistent rhythm, veteran Ryan Raburn has looked like himself again in the batter's box.

Cleveland values Raburn as weapon against left-handed pitching, and he has answered the call through the first two-plus weeks this season. The 34-year-old utility man has started mostly against lefty pitchers, and he has been used as a pinch-hitter. The early results have been strong.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walters optioned to Triple-A by Tribe after coming off DL

Walters optioned to Triple-A by Tribe after coming off DL

DETROIT -- Zach Walters might have a home on the Indians' bench at some point this season, but the team wants him at Triple-A Columbus for the time being.

On Friday, the Indians activated Walters from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A, where he had already been working on a Minor League rehab assignment. The 25-year-old played two games with Columbus before being deemed recovered from the right oblique strain that sidelined him midway through Spring Training.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Too early to be concerned with Tribe's performance?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian answers Indians fans questions

Inbox: Too early to be concerned with Tribe's performance?

Three innings into the sixth game of the season, a reporter two seats to my right spilled a cup of water in the press box. The reporter directly to my right stood and lifted his laptop in a panic and, in turn, spilled his own drink. As liquid spread across the counter, I grabbed my laptop and moved to my feet. In the process, I spilled my cup of coffee.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime spill that, somehow, did not claim any electronics in its path of destruction. The final toppled cup within the trifecta, however, doused my brand-new scorebook. Coffee dripped from its pages as I tossed it in the trash. The good news is I have a new scorebook -- a clean slate -- for the rest of the season.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

It's an unusually tough decision. Who are the four players who best represent the Indians franchise, a team with more than 100 years of history? That's the question posed by Major League Baseball's Franchise Four contest, and the fans will have the final say on their team's four faces.

The contest's first update sees two Hall of Famers among Cleveland's front four, and an amazing four Hall of Famers who just missed the cut. Cleveland immortals Bob Feller and Larry Doby were named among the top four, as were two stars of a more recent vintage: Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber labors as Indians drop rubber game

Kluber labors as Indians drop rubber game

CHICAGO -- An expected low-scoring battle between top-flight starters Jeff Samardzija and Corey Kluber turned into a 6-0 White Sox victory over the Indians on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. By virtue of its four-run rally in the ninth inning Monday, Chicago picked up a second series victory this season. But the White Sox win in the finale wasn't as routine as the score would indicate.

Samardzija threw six scoreless innings to earn his first White Sox victory, but he needed 113 pitches to accomplish that. He pitched out of jams in the second, third and sixth innings. Kluber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, allowed 13 hits over six-plus innings, but four of them came at the start of the seventh. He fanned six and walked one.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Runs scarce, but Kluber takes responsibility

Indians' ace focused mainly on keeping opponents off the scoreboard

Runs scarce, but Kluber takes responsibility

CHICAGO -- So far this season, runs have been as scarce as warm, sunny April days in the upper Midwest when Corey Kluber has been on the mound.

Through Kluber's first four starts, the Indians have managed a total of five runs. That includes zero on Wednesday, as the Tribe lost, 6-0, to the White Sox in the rubber game of the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.