The Indians' rotation returned to quality and David Murphy remained seriously locked in, the combination fueling an 8-6 victory over the Padres on Tuesday at Progressive Field.

Right-hander Corey Kluber allowed three runs in six innings and Murphy drove in four as the Tribe won the first of a three-game series. The teams play a doubleheader Wednesday.

Paid attendance on a chilly night: 9,029.

Murphy, lurking in the nine hole in manager Terry Francona's lineup, went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, RBI double and walk. In his previous game, Sunday against Minnesota, Murphy was 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. The two-game thunder has come after a 2-for-14 start to the season in which he had a handful of good swings.

Entering Sunday, Murphy was hitting .143 with a .276 OPS (on-base plus slugging). Now he is at .364 with a 1.011 OPS.

"Things can get skewed at the beginning of the year,'' Francona said.
Murphy's bad start had been an extension of spring training.

"This is night and day compared to spring training,'' Murphy said. "The other day I just stepped in the cage, the feel was there, and it's carried over. It was one game, now it's two games. I haven't felt like this in a long time. Hopefully, something is working here and it will continue.''

Kluber (1-1, 7.71 ERA) did not exactly dominate, allowing nine hits while facing an offensively challenged club. But he worked at least six innings and gave up three or fewer earned runs, which met the criteria for a quality start.

The Indians (4-3) had been in the market for a solid performance from their starter since Opening Day, when Justin Masterson allowed three hits in seven shutout innings at Oakland. For the next five Cleveland starts through Sunday, the combined line included 22 1/3 innings, 35 hits, 21 runs, 19 earned runs and 15 walks; none of the five starters finished the sixth.

Kluber is the first Tribe starter to earn a victory. While the Padres (2-5) generated traffic against him -- four of the hits led off innings -- they drew no walks.