CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber shut down the White Sox and became the first pitcher with 11 wins this season. So what else is new for the reigning AL Cy Young winner?
Kluber allowed one hit over seven dominant innings and retired his final 14 batters Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians routed Chicago 12-0. The right-hander struck out seven and issued a lone walk in his latest masterpiece.
“Every five days, you try to come up with maybe something different to say about him, but my goodness,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “His level of consistency is so high that, man, it’s just fun to watch. And it’s nice.”
Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis hit three-run homers for Cleveland, which swept the three-game series by a 24-5 margin. The Indians have won 17 of their last 21 games against the White Sox at Progressive Field, including all six this season.
Kluber (11-3) only permitted a second-inning single past third base by Omar Narvaez and a third-inning walk to Charlie Tilson, throwing 96 pitches before giving way to George Kontos to begin the eighth. Josh Tomlin surrendered a double to Jose Abreu in the ninth before completing the combined two-hitter.
“Hopefully in the long run, there will be a benefit to not throwing as many pitches as I usually do,” said Kluber, who now has one more victory than Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Yankees’ Luis Severino. “When the game is sort of out of hand like that, if (Francona) has the opportunity to save me a couple bullets, then why not?”
Yonder Alonso added three hits and Yan Gomes doubled twice as the Indians chased White Sox righty Reynaldo Lopez (2-5) after 4 1/3 innings. Lopez gave up five runs, four earned, and is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in three career starts against Cleveland.
The Indians tacked on six runs in the sixth against Bruce Rondon to extend their lead to 11-0, including a two-run double by Edwin Encarnacion and Kipnis’ three-run shot.