CLEVELAND (AP) – Corey Kluber’s got a cloud hanging over him so far this season.
And it’s already opened up twice.
After the Cleveland right-hander had a start postponed for the second time in a week, he’ll take the mound Tuesday night when the Indians open a three-game set with the San Diego Padres.
Kluber’s first start of the season was pushed back a day after last Tuesday’s game in Oakland was postponed because of rain. It happened again to him Monday in what was supposed to be the opener of this series.
"I don’t know if you can blame this one on Klubes," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It seems like there is always a pitcher, though, who catches it."
After winning their home opener, the Indians weren’t able to keep that momentum going throughout the rest of a three-game set over the weekend.
Cleveland (3-3) beat Minnesota 7-2 on Friday but gave up 17 runs in losing the next two games against its AL Central rival. The Twins took the lead for good in a 10-7 victory in Sunday’s finale with a three-run sixth inning.
The Indians, 51-30 at home in 2013 en route to their first playoff appearance in six years, will try to get back in the win column in their first interleague game of 2014. Cleveland was 8-2 against NL visitors last season and is facing San Diego (2-4) for the first time since taking two of three at Progressive Field from June 13-15, 2008.
Kluber will try to help send his team toward another series victory over the Padres. Kluber, who won 11 games in his first full season in 2013, suffered his first defeat in 13 starts dating to June 27 with a 6-1 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday.
Kluber failed to make it out of the fourth inning and was charged with five runs, eight hits and three walks.
"That was very un-Kluber like," Francona told the team’s official website. "He’ll bounce back. He just threw a lot of pitches (77), had to work for everything he got, had a lot of deep counts and fell behind a lot of hitters because of that. And, when he made a mistake, it came in the zone and they hit it."
Kluber will next face a team that’s batted .189 and scored 12 runs in its first six games. The Padres, however, managed to snap a four-game skid with a 4-2 win in Miami on Sunday.
Alexi Amarista hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning on his 25th birthday and helped San Diego score more than three runs for the first time.
"No doubt we’ve got to get the bats going," manager Bud Black said. "I’ve said that repeatedly over the last three to four days. You look at some of those averages and they’re obviously a little low. We need those guys to start getting some hits."
Black will send out Tyson Ross (0-1, 5.40 ERA) for his first second start of the season after he went five innings and threw 100 pitches in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Indians, last facing them in April 2012 while with Oakland.
Seth Smith is the only Padres hitter to have faced Kluber and struck out in each of his three at-bats.
The teams will play a traditional doubleheader Wednesday after Monday’s rainout.
"It doesn’t happen much in San Diego, but in other parts of the country and in other parts of your career, you get accustomed to this," said Black, who had two stints as a pitcher with the Indians. "It’s always a little unsettling, but most players are conditioned for days like this based on the number of times this happens over one’s career."