ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Staked to a three-run lead before he ever threw a pitch, Corey Kluber couldn’t hold it.
The Los Angeles Angels rallied to break a six-game losing streak, beating Kluber and the Cleveland Indians 5-4 Monday night.
Kluber (6-12) was charged with five runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, and left with a 3.60 ERA this season. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA last year.
“Early in the game, I made better pitches when I was ahead of guys. But the last couple of innings, I didn’t quite execute them well enough and they found some holes,” he said.
“They did a good job of putting the ball in play. They probably hit the ball harder the first four innings than they did the last two. Five groundball hits were half their hits.”
Kluber surrendered a pair of RBI singles by Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout in the fifth inning after hitting David DeJesus with a 1-2 pitch and two outs.
In the sixth, Kluber gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Conor Gillespie and an RBI single by DeJesus.
That was all Garrett Richards (11-8) needed. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings, allowing four runs, four hits and three walks.
Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer for Cleveland in the first after Michael Brantley’s RBI single. Cleveland didn’t get another hit until Carlos Santana’s two-out single in the sixth.
Kluber got an early break. On his fourth pitch of the game, center fielder Michael Bourn robbed Calhoun of a home run.
“Corey started out good. It just seemed like about the fifth inning, they started stringing some hits together and he was having a hard time putting guys away,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
“But give them some credit. They didn’t try to get it all back on one swing. They hit the ball across the field and got their basehits,” he said.
For the third time in four days, the Angels faced a Cy Young award winner. Unlike Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in their weekend series with the Dodgers, they found many of Kluber’s pitches quite hittable – especially Gillaspie, who is 9 for 25 lifetime against him.
“I was just kind of looking for a mistake,” Gillaspie said. “He’s tough. He’s got good stuff, good movement, and he’s one of the elite pitchers at this level.”
Gillaspie, acquired by the Angels from the Chicago White Sox in a cash deal on July 24 after third baseman David Freese broke a finger, connected after a leadoff single by Erick Aybar. It was his fourth home run this season and first in seven games with his new club.
“The home run was obviously the biggest mistake,” Kluber said. “It was a cutter that just kind of stayed up and was pretty much right in the middle of the plate.”
Huston Street got the last three outs for his 26th save in 29 attempts.
Indians: Placed All-Star 2B and leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list because of chronic inflammation in his right shoulder. He returned Cleveland to be examined by team doctors. … RF Lonnie Chisenhall left the game in the fourth inning because of a cervical strain, which occurred when he tried to make a diving catch on a bloop single by Carlos Perez in the third.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (11-8) is 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Last Thursday at Oakland, he pitched a two-hitter and retired his final 16 batters in a 3-1 victory.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (5-7) has allowed fewer than three runs in each of his last five starts.