The Angels eked out three hits against Kluber, but were limited to one extra-base hit and only managed to put runners in scoring position once. In the third inning, Eric Young Jr. doubled to left field and advanced on a fly out to position himself at third base. With two outs and runners at the corners, Kluber induced a rally-killing groundout from Shohei Ohtani to end the inning.
For much of the game, there was no touching the right-hander. He needed just five pitches to get through the second inning and made short work of the heart of the order with eight pitches in the ninth. Backed by a three-run lead on Leonys Martin‘s solo home run, Michael Brantley‘s RBI single and a run-scoring passed ball from Francisco Arcia, Kluber finished his night with three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts, boosting his season totals to an AL-leading 14-6 record in 23 starts and 2.63 ERA, 1.2 BB/9 and 8.5 SO/9 across 154 innings.
Prior to Saturday’s gem, only two other pitchers have tossed complete game shutouts with fewer than 100 pitches this season: the Pirates’ Trevor Williams, whose 7-0, 84-pitch feat was helped enormously by a rain-shortened, six-inning game, and the Mariners’ James Paxton, who completed a Maddux in the conventional nine innings with 99 pitches in a 5-0 shutout against the Rays.