Kluber pitches Indians past Rays 3-0

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 31: Starting pitcher Corey Kluber pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field on August 31, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber pitched seven sparkling innings, Edwin Encarnacion homered and the Cleveland Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Friday night.

Kluber (17-7) allowed two singles, struck out eight and walked two in Cleveland’s AL-best 14th shutout this season. Cody Allen worked a perfect eighth and Brad Hand finished the two-hitter for his 31st save.

Kluber, making a bid for a second straight AL Cy Young Award, matched Yankees ace Luis Severino for the major league lead in wins and moved into first place in the AL with 186 2/3 innings.

Encarnacion snapped a scoreless tie with a solo drive to center off Tyler Glasnow (1-4) in the seventh. The Indians added two more in the ninth when Greg Allen scored on a wild pitch and Michael Brantley singled home Francisco Lindor.

Glasnow struck out six in a career-high seven innings. He was working on a no-hitter before Melky Cabrera singled with two out in the fifth.

AL Central-leading Cleveland won for the fourth time in five games amid speculation it was closing in on a trade for Toronto slugger Josh Donaldson.

Joey Wendle hit a leadoff single in the first and Tommy Pham singled in the fourth for Tampa Bay’s only hits. The Rays are 9-2 since Aug. 19, matching their best 11-game run in four years.

It was Glasnow’s sixth start since being acquired in a July 31 trade with Pittsburgh for pitcher Chris Archer. His only win of the season occurred in relief against the White Sox on May 8.

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