Perhaps a visit to the South Side of Chicago will help Corey Kluber successfully move on from his first defeat in almost two months.
Looking to continue his success at U.S. Cellular Field, Kluber tries to help the Cleveland Indians extend the White Sox’s season-high skid to eight games Wednesday night.
Though Kluber (13-7, 2.46 ERA) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 7-4 home win over the White Sox (59-72) on July 11, he improved to 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA against them this season. His first meeting of 2014 came April 13, when he yielded two runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 loss at Chicago, where the right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three outings.
Kluber was 6-0 with a 1.31 ERA in eight starts prior to allowing three runs and walking four in seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Minnesota on Thursday.
"He’s earned the right for us to expect what he does," manager Terry Francona told MLB’s official website. "He just didn’t command (Thursday) as well as he normally does."
Kluber hopes to be more efficient for the Indians (67-63), who have won three straight and 10 of 14 after Tuesday’s 8-6, 10-inning victory. Zach Walters hit a two-run home run in the 10th as Cleveland kept pace in both the AL Central and wild-card races.
"We know exactly where we are and we know that we have to turn it on at this moment in time if we expect to catch anyone – whether it’s the wild card or the division," starting pitcher T.J. House said.
Though Walters is batting .207 in 45 games between Washington and Cleveland this year, he’s hit six of his nine home runs in his last 12 games.
With two hits and an RBI on Tuesday, teammate Mike Aviles is batting .410 in 12 games versus Chicago this season.
He’s 0 for 3 against Hector Noesi (7-9, 4.86), who will try to help the White Sox snap their longest skid since losing nine straight Aug. 30-Sept. 7.
Noesi allowed one earned run in 14 1-3 innings while going 1-0 in his first two starts of August, but is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA since. He allowed four runs on three homers but struck out eight in seven innings of a 4-3 home loss to Baltimore last Wednesday.
"When you leave pitches up, they’re going to get you," said Noesi, whose 21 home runs allowed rank among the most in the AL. "When you miss a pitch, you miss the location, they go for it."
The right-hander gave up one homer and four other hits in 7 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 home victory over Cleveland on May 28, then yielded six runs, two homers, and four walks to 4 2-3 innings against Kluber on July 11.
Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez homered for a second straight contest, and is hitting .424 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in eight home games versus Cleveland this season.