Corey Kluber struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings and won his 20th game, and Brandon Guyer hit a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning as the Cleveland Indians shutout the Chicago White Sox 4-0 on Monday night.
Kluber (20-7) reached 20 victories for the first time after recording 19 wins last season and 18 victories the two previous seasons and in 2004. The reigning CY Young winner is the first 20-game winner for the Central Division champions since Cliff Lee went 22-3 in 2008, and the first Indians pitcher to win 20 games with 200 or more strikeouts since Gaylord Perry did it in 1974.
Cleveland is also the first team to have four pitchers with 200 strikeouts in a season. Kluber ran his total to 216, while Carlos Carrasco has 217, Trevor Bauer 215 and Mike Clevinger 202.
The Indians tied the Chicago Cubs for the major league lead with 17 shutouts.
Adam Rosales gave the Indians an insurance run with a home run off reliever Nate Jones to left for his first of the season in the ninth inning. Brandon Barnes and Edwin Encarnacion then added RBI singles. It was Rosales’ first home run since Sept. 4, 2017, when he was with Arizona.
Indians relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitched a perfect eighth and ninth, respectively, and combined with Kluber to retire the final 17 batters.
Covey didn’t allow a run over six innings. He scattered six hits and struck out seven with one walk in the no-decision. He has pitched 12 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
Covey was relieved by Ian Hamilton (0-2) after throwing 96 pitches over six innings. Guyer greeted Hamilton in the seventh by hitting his third pitch into the left-field seats for his seventh home run of the season.
The White Sox threatened in the second inning. They had runners on first and third with one out, but Kluber finished the inning by getting Tim Anderson and Jose Rondon swinging.
Kluber struck out the side in the third inning and then posted his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season when he got Daniel Palka swinging to end the fifth.
Kluber has struck out 10 or more batters in three of his last four starts and retired his final 11 batters.
Indians: C Roberto Perez wasn’t in the lineup after leaving Sunday night’s win over Boston with a bruised right shoulder. Indians manager Terry Francona said there were no lingering concerns. “He could’ve stayed in the game if we needed him to.”
White Sox: 1B Jose Abreu remains out with a right thigh injury. His status to return this season is uncertain. … 2B Yoan Moncada had the night off.
Indians: Francona said RHP Trevor Bauer won’t throw more than 60 to 65 pitches in Tuesday’s scheduled start, his second after missing 35 games with a stress fracture in his lower right leg. Bauer’s performance Tuesday, Francona added, will determine whether he starts Sunday’s season finale at Kansas City.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (7-16) is scheduled to make his 33rd start of the season on Tuesday. He is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last five starts.
Source: The Associated Press