Monday, Dec 11, 2017
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Pro

Kluber, Indians edge Royals 3-2, celebrate AL Central title

Indians, Kluber edge Royals 3-2 and celebrate second straight division title

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-197

    Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers to Kansas City Royals' during the first inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Sunday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-1-7

    Cleveland Indians' Edwin Encarnacion, right, is greeted at home plate by Austin Jackson after hitting a two-run home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy as Royals catcher Cam Gallagher turns away during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-2-7

    Cleveland Indians' Edwin Encarnacion heads to first base after hitting a two-run home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-3-7

    Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor throws out Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield at first base during the first inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-4-6

    Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy delivers to Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor during the first inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Royals-Indians-Baseball-198

    Kansas City Royals' Brandon Moss walks back to the dugout after being struck out by Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber pushed to the front of the Cy Young race with another dominant start and Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer as the Cleveland Indians celebrated a division title and edged the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Sunday.

Kluber (17-4), who has lost once since July 4, allowed three singles in seven innings and has not given up a run in 22 straight innings.

Encarnacion homered in the fourth off Danny Duffy (8-9) as the Indians improved to 33-5 since Aug. 11 despite getting only three hits.

The Royals closed to 3-2 in the eighth on a two-out, two-run single by Brandon Moss off Tyler Olson. Cody Allen finished the inning and then worked out of a two-on jam in the ninth for his 28th save.

Before the game, Cleveland raised a flag to commemorate its second straight AL Central title. The team officially clinched Saturday night when second-place Minnesota lost to Toronto.

It’s been quite a week for the Indians, who won an AL-record 22 straight games before losing Friday. The second-longest streak in baseball history captured the attention of sports fans across the country and solidified the Indians as one of the favorites in October.

A champagne celebration was on deck following the game.

Kluber could be on his way to a second Cy Young Award win, following 2014’s. The right-hander is 10-1 in his last 10 starts. Despite missing nearly a month, he leads the league in wins (17), ERA (2.35), shutouts (3) and complete games (5).

In the major statistical categories, Kluber trails only Boston’s Chris Sale, his closest competition for the pitching award, in strikeouts.

The Royals threatened off Kluber in the seventh, loading the bases on a pair of soft singles and his throwing error. Alex Gordon’s bat was shattered on a comebacker and Kluber threw out the outfielder, who was still holding the handle as he reached the bag and flung it in disgust.

Duffy (8-9), making his first appearance since Aug. 22, coasted through the first three innings before second baseman Whit Merrifield committed a throwing error to let Austin Jackson reach. One out later, Encarnacion drove a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall for his 36th homer.

The Indians appeared to take a 1-0 lead on Francisco Lindor’s homer in the first, but a ruling by third-base umpire Ted Barrett was overturned by a replay review that clearly showed Lindor’s shot was foul by several feet.

The All-Star shortstop was seeking an extra-base hit in his 11th straight game. He set the club record on Saturday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: C Salvador Perez (pulled side muscle) and OF Lorenzo Cain (rest) sat out but are expected to return Tuesday for the series opener in Toronto.

Indians: All-Star 2B Jose Ramirez (hamstring) was rested for the second day in a row as a precaution. ... Team president Chris Antonetti said there is still no clarity on whether OF Michael Brantley will return this season. He’s been out since Aug. 9 with an ankle injury. ... Rookie OF Bradley Zimmer (broken hand) is keeping up with his conditioning and maintaining his arm strength after surgery. Zimmer had a plate and nine screws inserted into his hand, which he broke on a headfirst dive into first.

UP NEXT

Royals: Either RHP Ian Kennedy or Sam Gaviglio will start against the Blue Jays. Kennedy missed his last turn in the rotation with shoulder fatigue. Gaviglio has started twice since being claimed on waivers from Seattle.

Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger will look for his 11th win on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles. He was drafted by the Angels in 2011 and traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…