Cleveland's Kluber pitches 2 sharp innings in loss to Giants
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Cleveland ace Corey Kluber struck out three in two perfect innings in the Indians' 6-2 spring loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
The 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner is lined up to start on opening day. The right-hander went 9-16 last season, but had a 3.49 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 222 innings.
''Kluber was really good. He stayed in his delivery,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''On a day when you look at the scoreboard and it's not in our favor you go home feeling pretty good because that was two pretty good innings.''
San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford went 0 for 3 while serving as the designated hitter for the split-squad. Crawford has yet to play in the field, with manager Bruce Bochy easing his regulars into games.
''Crawford will get into a game about the middle of next week,'' Bochy said. ''He's throwing across the field on ground balls and stuff.''
Junior Arias had two hits and scored two runs for the Giants. Chris Stratton allowed four hits in two scoreless innings.
Josh Tomlin, who is competing for the fifth spot in the Indians' rotation, pitched two innings after Kluber departed. He was charged with two runs and four hits.
Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall, who is moving to right field this season, made a diving catch on a sacrifice fly by Rando Mareno. Left fielder Rajai Davis had a diving catch on a sacrifice fly by Matt Duffy.
''The scoreboard doesn't really indicate early in the game there was some good things that happened,'' Francona said.
Giants: Stratton, a first-round pick in the 2012 draft, struck out one and walked none in his first appearance this spring.
Indians: Francona said he plans to start Kluber on opening day. He said he wasn't sure if he had let Kluber know yet.
''It's the first I've heard of that,'' Kluber said. ''It'll be fine if that's the case. All the stuff leading up to it is really cool. It would be the first time I've had the opportunity to pitch in front of the home crowd on opening day. I'm looking forward to that. Once the first hitter gets in there it's just one of 162.''
Giants: OF Hunter Pence (Achilles) is expected to appear in his first spring game by next weekend. ... RHP Johnny Cueto's turn was skipped on Saturday. The Giants have reduced Cueto's early workload because he pitched in the World Series.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (shoulder) is hitting against soft toss. He will be examined by the Indians' medical staff on Sunday. ''We'll get a better idea for moving forward,'' Francona said. ... Francona is easing late free-agent signings Will Venable and Jose Uribe into games. Venable was the designated hitter on Saturday. Uribe is expected to play in a `B' game against Cincinnati on Monday. ''I want to see how he's doing first,'' Francona said.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija will pitch on Sunday against the Dodgers.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco goes for Cleveland when it takes on RHP Matt Garza and the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.