ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — As if the Cleveland Indians haven't had enough problems on this West Coast trip, All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis strained an abdominal muscle Tuesday night and left the game after grounding into a double play in his second at-bat.
The rest of the game didn't go much better for the Indians, who lost their fifth in a row.
Corey Kluber was charged with four runs in 4 2-3 innings and Joe Smith got his second save against his former teammates in two nights to secure a 6-4 victory for Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels.
Kipnis, a first-time All-Star last season, is batting .234 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 26 games. He had 17 homers and 84 RBIs in 2013 — both career highs — in becoming the first Indians second baseman to lead the team in RBIs since Joe Gordon in 1948.
"Jason's obviously a huge part of what we do, so keep our fingers crossed," manager Terry Francona said. "I think the training staff is hopeful that it's more of a cramping-type thing. When he shows up tomorrow and doesn't have the adrenaline of a game going, and he's gotten a chance to sleep on it, we'll know a lot more. If it doesn't feel worse, that'll be a really good sign."
Kluber (2-3) gave up four hits with five strikeouts and four walks. One of the runs he allowed was unearned, the result of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera's fielding error on Chris Iannetta's leadoff grounder in the fourth.
"Man, he had to work so hard," Francona said of Kluber. "You could tell early on they knew he was going to work ahead in the count, so they were really hacking. I think their leadoff hitters got on in every inning against him, and he wiggled out of the majority of it by making some really good pitches. They were all stressful innings. When I'm keeping track of the pitch count, I always put an asterisk when guys work hard. And it was pretty much every inning."
The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, retiring Albert Pujols on a popup after an intentional walk to Mike Trout and then striking out Raul Ibanez with the Indians trailing 2-0.
"He had good stuff. He kept the ball down and he has a couple of good weapons to put you away," Pujols said. "He made a good pitch on me, and he didn't show that pitch until that at-bat with the bases loaded. He got in a couple of jams, and we got a huge hit from Howie (Kendrick) to knock him out of the game."
Continue reading this story on the...