MLB

Indians-Tigers Preview

Corey Kluber has been routinely left hanging out to dry by the Cleveland Indians, leading to a lackluster record that belies his performance.

He'll have to focus on keeping Miguel Cabrera in check, however, in Sunday's series finale with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Kluber (3-7, 3.53 ERA) is well off the 18-victory pace of his 2014 Cy Young season, and a 2.45 run-support average - the second-lowest in the majors - has played a big role.

He gave up two runs in seven innings Tuesday versus Seattle, but received one run of support in a 3-2 loss. It was the 12th time in 13 starts that he's been backed by three runs or fewer.

"I don't think you can let it get frustrating," he said. "I think everybody is going to go through times when they don't get run support. I think if you start to worry about that, it probably gets in the way of pitching and makes pitching harder."

Kluber fanned 10 and allowed two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 9-6 home loss to Detroit on April 11, though he wasn't charged with the defeat. He's 1-5 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 matchups with the Tigers since winning his first career start against them in 2012.

Cabrera has given Kluber fits, going 19 for 33 (.576) with four homers and two doubles, and he's 11 for 16 in the matchup since the start of last season. He's also tormented the Indians recently, batting .513 with seven home runs, six doubles and 20 RBIs in his last 20 meetings dating to last June.

"Miggy is one of the most special hitters in the game," Indians manger Terry Francona told MLB's official website. "There's no way to get around it."

Cabrera went 2 for 4 on Saturday, but Detroit (32-30) lost for the second time in three games, falling 5-4 in Justin Verlander's season debut.

Verlander gave up two runs in five innings before relievers Blaine Hardy and Ian Krol were charged with a combined three runs in 1 1-3 innings.

Cleveland (29-32) had lost four of five and scored three runs or fewer in eight of 10 prior to Saturday. Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 11 games and has hit safely in 31 of his last 34 meetings with Detroit while batting .434.

On the mound for the Tigers will be Alfredo Simon (6-3, 2.76), who has alternated decisions in his last four starts. He won a 6-4 final against the Chicago White Sox last Sunday after giving up four runs in a season high-matching eight innings, though only one was earned, and retired the final 12 batters he faced.

"His pitches came around the second half of his outing," manager Brad Ausmus said.

Simon is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five home starts, including a 4-1 victory against the Indians on April 25 in which he limited them to one run in 6 2-3 innings. He also won 8-4 at Cleveland on April 10, allowing three runs in 5 1-3 innings, and is 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four career starts versus the Indians.

Brantley is 10 for 15 with four doubles against Simon.

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