Corey Kluber might have been historically good in May, but the Red Sox paid it no mind once the calendar flipped to June.
Since going 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA last month, fanning 60 batters in just 43 innings, the Indians' right-hander has seen his success on the mound dip, if only slightly. In Kluber's two starts this month, he owns a 5.56 ERA and did not manage a quality start in either game. Included in that was a no-decision outing that saw him surrender four runs to Boston in 6 1/3 innings at Progressive Field.
"If that's him not at his best, that's pretty good," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
This time around, Kluber will look to get back to his winning ways as he faces the Red Sox on Sunday at Fenway Park. But as the 28-year-old hurler prepares for the finale of his team's current 10-game road trip, he's likely not going to fret about past performance or coming off a couple of mediocre days on the hill.
"I think that kind of falls into the taking-it-day-by-day line of thought," Kluber said after his last start against Boston. "I think if you start worrying about your record in May, you're kind of fighting an uphill battle. There's so much of the season left that, maybe if you kind of stay the course and continue to play good, you're capable of getting on a roll like we have this homestand, and things can turn out in your favor."
Kluber has a 3.35 ERA this season and still ranks among the league leaders in strikeouts with 104.
The Red Sox will counter with righty Brandon Workman, who has been nothing if not reliable in his second season in the Majors.
The right-hander (1-0, 2.86 ERA) attended a hearing on Thursday for his appeal of a six-game suspension, which he received for throwing at Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria two weeks ago. The ruling on the appeal is expected to be announced Monday, meaning Workman could make his next scheduled start regardless of the outcome.
Workman was dominant in his last outing, battling through two different rain delays to work 6 2/3 innings of shutout baseball against the Orioles. He threw just 67 pitches and might have gone the full nine innings were it not for the weather.
"I stayed locked in. It wasn't that bad," Workman said. "I went down and threw in the batting cage a little bit, stayed loose, stayed ready, so it wasn't bad."
The Red Sox's offense, which scored just one run in a three-game series with the O's earlier this week, has turned a corner during the last two days, scoring a total of 15 runs and making life difficult for Tribe starters Josh Tomlin and Justin Masterson.
Part of that production has come from journeyman outfielder Daniel Nava, who went 3-for-4 on Thursday and followed it up with a two-hit night on Friday.
"We're grinding right now," Nava said. "We were in a stretch where nothing was going our way -- and that's part of it. But we knew that couldn't last forever. That had to turn. We believe things are always one game from turning, and hopefully it was two games ago -- today and yesterday that it turned around."
Red Sox: Holt finding ways to stay in the lineup
Brock Holt certainly did not begin his Red Sox career in the outfield, but he might have found a new home there.
On Saturday, Holt played right field for the first time in his career. He had previously played in left field five times this season but spent an overwhelming majority of his time (22 games) at the hot corner. The ease with which Holt has adjusted to the new position, however, caught even his coaches off-guard.
"It's his ability to adapt to a new position as quick as he has that's surprising," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Knowing how he is as a competitor and his baseball intelligence, that's not surprising. The ability to adapt is."
With Stephen Drew back on the roster and Xander Bogaerts sliding over to third, Holt might have been the odd man out in a crowded infield. But with Holt batting .338/.377/.468, Farrell was hard-pressed to keep the multitalented lefty out of his lineup.
"He's always hit for high average primarily playing second base, but the athleticism, we felt he could be a utility type," Farrell said. "But I think he's exceeded the versatility on the defensive side."
Indians: Crockett solid in return to Majors
Rookie lefty Kyle Crockett was called from Triple-A Columbus on Friday to take Nick Hagadone's spot in the Cleveland bullpen, and his first appearance since returning to the big leagues went about as well as the team could have hoped.
On the same day he was called up, Crockett pitched in relief of a struggling Masterson and threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He now has a 1.42 ERA after a scoreless, one-out performance on Saturday.
"I think [Crockett] is really beyond his years in maturity level," Francona said. "He kind of is what he is and he can do it at the Double-A level, Triple-A level or Major League level, because the game doesn't speed up on him."
This is Crockett's second stint with the Indians this season. He was originally promoted from Double-A Akron on May 16 -- becoming the first player from any team's 2013 Draft class to reach the Majors in the process -- and went on to turn in a 2.08 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.
Hagadone, who was optioned to Columbus, posted a 7.71 ERA in five appearances.
• Tribe first baseman Nick Swisher, who made his return from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday after suffering a hyperextended knee, went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter on Saturday. He was held out of the lineup on Friday for precautionary reasons.
• The Red Sox reached a double-digit scoring total for the first time of the season on Friday in their 10-3 win over Cleveland. It was the longest it had taken any Boston team to reach that mark in a season since 1943.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.