CLEVELAND (AP) — 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.
“We’re making it really tough for opposing pitchers, which always leads to good things,” Alonso said. “We understand that Corey is going to do his thing and keep us in every ballgame, so we just have to be an offensive force for him.”
The White Sox matched their longest losing streak of 2018 at seven and fell to a season-low 25 games under .500. Manager Rick Renteria was ejected by home plate umpire Will Little in the sixth for arguing a strikeout.
“He should have ejected me,” Renteria said. “He was actually pretty kind. I was calm. I was trying not to get too crazy. I just wanted to go talk to him. It was not a very confrontational exchange.”
Ramirez put Cleveland ahead 3-0 in the first with his team-high 22nd home run, extending his on-base streak to a career-high 28 games. He also scored three times and stole a base.
Brantley was caught stealing in the third, ending Cleveland’s franchise-record run of 23 successful stolen base attempts dating back to May 23.
NOT MILLER TIME
Indians president Chris Antonetti said LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is throwing bullpen sessions, but not ready to go on a minor league rehab assignment.
“He has to go through a progression to get back to game activity, and he’s not there yet,” Antonetti said.
Miller is 1-3 with one save and a 4.40 ERA in 17 appearances. The two-time All-Star has been on the disabled list since May 26.
White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia (right hamstring strain) could be activated Thursday. He is hitting .333 with two homers and seven RBIs during a six-game rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte.
Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (bilateral calf soreness) was a late scratch. He was sidelined with a strained right calf from April 8-June 5 and missed six weeks in 2017 with a similar injury.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (4-7, 7.19 ERA) takes on Athletics RHP Chris Bassitt (0-2, 2.45 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series Thursday in Chicago.
Indians RHP Shane Bieber (1-0, 3.97 ERA) faces Tigers RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.09 ERA) as Cleveland continues its nine-game homestand Friday.