Corey Kluber took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but it was the chase of his 20th strikeout of the game that had people buzzing.
Kluber struck out 18 St. Louis Cardinals batters in 8 innings before being taken out of the game as his Cleveland Indians held a 2-0 lead, never getting the chance to strike out batters No. 19 and No. 20 and placing himself in history.
While he fell short in that aspect, Kluber’s first win of the season came in a brilliant performance.
Kluber, last year’s Cy Young winner, came into the game with an 0-5 record and 5.04 ERA. He struck out two batters in the first and one in the second before retiring 18 straight hitters after hitting Matt Holliday in the first.
Indians manager Terry Francona wasn’t around to make the decision on whether Kluber should pitch the ninth with a pitch count at 113 after eight innings. He was ejected in the sixth. Instead, it was Brad Mills who made the decision.
Francona supported Mills’ decision.
“Millsy knows what he’s doing,” said Francona. “You can’t manage with your heart.”
Kluber struck out the side on three different occasions. Brandon Moss and David Murphy each drove in a run for Cleveland, which was plenty of insurance for Kluber.