SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Cleveland’s Corey Kluber had a strong final spring outing; Arizona’s Wade Miley, not so good.
Kluber, the No. 2 starter in the Indians’ rotation, allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings in Cleveland’s 3-2 victory over a Diamondbacks’ split-squad on Thursday.
Kluber blanked Arizona for six innings before being tagged for a pair of runs in the seventh. He struck out seven and walked one.
Miley, the starter in the Diamondbacks’ season-opening 3-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia, gave up three runs on seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, walking one and hitting a batter.
Both teams have exhibition games Friday and Saturday. Arizona plays the Chicago Cubs at Phoenix’s Chase Field, the Indians are at San Diego.
Cleveland finished with the second-best record in all of spring training at 19-8, which of course has no significance in the long run.
Except, manager Terry Francona said, “it means that we played pretty good baseball, which I love.”
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson was not in the dugout for the second game in a row. He is on crutches after undergoing knee surgery. Bench coach Alan Trammell took his place.
Both Kluber and Miley are scheduled to pitch on Tuesday.
Indians: Kluber was knocked around in his previous start, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in six innings against Colorado. But he was outstanding until the final inning on Thursday.
“Every time he’s pitched, he’s gotten toward the end of his outing and got a little fatigued,” Francona said. “That’s why you build up. It’s the normal progression for any pitcher. He just needs to get enough repos for the game to dictate how long he pitches.”
Diamondbacks: Miley said he was not fatigued by the long trip to Australia and back.
“That’s not an excuse at all,” he said. “I just wasn’t executing pitches, leaving fastballs over the plate, really wasn’t getting ahead. They were just able to sit on them. One to forget.”
Miley seemed out of sorts, twice failing to get to first base to cover the bag on ground outs.
Indians: Utility INF Mike Aviles was a scratch because of a sore lower back. OF Michael Bradley was given the day off to rest.
Diamondbacks: There was no news on RHP Bronson Arroyo, who is scheduled to start Saturday in an exhibition against the Cubs at Chase Field. Arroyo, who never has been on the disabled list in his pro career, has been sidelined with a sore back. If all goes well Saturday, he’ll probably start the fourth game of the series against San Francisco next Thursday.
BRADLEY TO MINORS
Arizona’s top pitching prospect Archie Bradley will open the season with Triple-A Reno after spending spring training with the big league club. Manager Kirk Gibson says Bradley needs to work on his fastball command but the skipper has no doubt the 21-year-old pitcher will be able to help the Diamondbacks at the major league level this year.
Bradley said he’s not surprised by the move and knows there are a few things he needs to work on.
Gibson said that when the Diamondbacks call up Bradley, they want it to be for good.