Kluber strikes out season-high 14, Indians top Blue Jays 8-1 for the sweep!
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber struck out a season-high 14 in 7 2/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Kluber (8-3) showed no signs of the stiff neck that pushed back his scheduled start Friday with another dominating performance.
The right-hander allowed five hits, including Kevin Pillar’s leadoff homer in the third, and reached double figures in strikeouts for the ninth time in 16 starts. Kluber fell four strikeouts short of matching his career-high 18 against St. Louis in 2015.
The 2014 AL Cy Young winner fanned the first two hitters in the eighth before walking Josh Donaldson, ending a nine-pitch at-bat. The right-hander received a standing ovation from the crowd of 30,701 after being removed by manager Terry Francona.
Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in the sixth and had three RBIs. Brandon Guyer’s three-run double was the key hit in the first, when Cleveland took a 4-0 lead against J.A. Happ (3-7).
Kluber missed a month earlier this season with a strained back. He’s 5-1 with a 1.52 ERA in 10 starts since coming off the disabled list.
Kluber allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings against Oakland on July 15. Francona announced earlier in the week that Kluber’s neck was bothering him and the decision was made to push him back a couple of days.
Happ was behind after throwing four pitches. Carlos Santana led off with a single, took second on Francisco Lindor’s bunt hit and scored on Brantley’s single.
Edwin Encarnacion flied out but Jose Ramirez walked on four pitches and Guyer lined a 2-2 pitch to the gap in left-center.
Lindor, whose 10th-inning home run Saturday gave the Indians a 2-1 win, had an RBI single in the fourth.
Happ allowed a season-high seven runs in six innings. The Blue Jays were outscored 23-5 in the series and finished 3-7 on their longest road trip of the season.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin) was not in the lineup for the second day in a row. He was injured while running to first base in his final at-bat Friday.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano opens a four-game home series against Oakland. He moved up one day in the rotation when Aaron Sanchez was placed on the disabled list.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin faces Cincinnati in a rescheduled home game from May 25. He allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings during a 5-1 loss to the Reds on May 22 in Cincinnati.