Through the first seven innings, Kluber wasn’t really all that bad. He’d allowed three runs, yes, but when the Indians finally scored twice on Lonnie Chisenhall‘s first home run of 2016 in the bottom of the seventh off Rangers reliever Tony Barnette, manager Terry Francona let Kluber come out to start the eighth inning with the Tribe down 3-2. Although Kluber had thrown about 100 pitches already, Francona had apparently hoped that Kluber had one more good inning in him. But he didn’t. After giving up two bloop singles, Ian Desmond cleared the bases with a double to deep center, giving the Rangers a 5-2 lead and sending Kluber to the showers.
Desmond himself came around to score later in the inning, and Shawn Armstrong gave up a ninth-inning run, which meant the Tribe would have needed five runs in the ninth to tie the game. They got only one. The Indians were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, continuing the pattern they have fallen into on this homestand. It’s half over, and they’re 1-4 so far. It’s unfortunate to see the team slump this way after playing their best ball of the season a week ago, but these things happen. It’s a long season and even good teams fall into slumps like this one.
It’s not how any of us would have wanted the month to end, but the Indians did post a winning record for the month of May, going 16-13. Maybe they can start June off the right way with a victory against the Rangers on Wednesday.