New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Kluber, Yankees shut out Indians
NEW YORK — Corey Kluber won for the first time in nearly four months, pitching six shutout innings in his first outing against the team that helped him blossom into a star, and the New York Yankees routed Cleveland 8-0 Friday night in the start of the Indians’ final series in the Bronx.
Joey Gallo homered twice, and Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton hit one each for the Yankees, who tied their season high with five home runs.
With 14 games left, New York moved a half-game ahead of Toronto for one of the two AL wild-card berths in a tight race that also includes Boston. The Yankees are just 30-37 vs. the AL East but 47-28 against other teams.
Kluber (5-3) allowed four hits, struck out four, walked two and hit a batter with a pitch, escaping twoon, no-outs trouble in the third and fifth innings. The 35-year-old right-hander was 98-58 for the Indians from 2011-19, winning a pair of AL Cy Young Awards.
Kluber missed most of 2019 and ‘20 with injuries and rebounded to pitch a no-hitter for the Yankees at Texas on May 19. He left his next outing with a strained right shoulder and didn’t return until Aug. 30, then went 0-1 in his first two starts back.
He was masterful against the Indians, throwing 61 of 95 pitches for strikes while mixing 31 curveballs, 31 cutters, 16 sinkers, 16 changeups and just one fastball. Batters were 0 for 6 against his cutter.
Cleveland leadoff batters reached in four of the first six innings, but New York’s much-maligned defense turned three double plays, two on grounders by Myles Straw and Franmil Reyes. New York put together another when Bobby Bradley strayed too far off first and was doubled up by Judge on Harold Ramirez’s fly to medium right — Judge’s 10th assist this season.
Gallo raised his season total to 37 homers, connecting in the first off Zach Plesac (10-6) and back-toback with Stanton in the eighth against J.C. Mejia. Gallo is tied with Kansas City’s Salvador Perez for the major league lead with six multi-homer games. New York is 14-1, including the playoffs, when Judge and Stanton homer in the same game.
Judge hit his 35th in the fourth inning, and Gardner greeted Nick Wittgren with a three-run homer in a four-run seventh.
Cleveland lost for the eighth time in 10 games and matched its season worst of three games under .500 at 71-74.
Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland announced in July it is changing its nickname for 2022 and will be known as the Guardians when the team arrives at Yankee Stadium next April 22.
Michael King (six outs) and Lucas Luetge completed the four-hitter with perfect relief in New Yorks’ 12th shutout, tied for second among AL teams behind Toronto’s 14.
Plesac gave up five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.
RED SOX 7, ORIOLES 1
BOSTON — Chris Sale returned from COVID-19 to pitch five innings of two-hit ball, and Bobby Dalbec homered to help the Boston Red Sox beat Baltimore 7-1 on Friday night and send the Orioles to their 100th loss of the season.
One night after beating the New York Yankees in a walk-off win, Baltimore again helped the Red Sox close in on a playoff berth.
Alex Verdugo had three hits and a sliding catch in the left-field corner, and Hunter Renfroe had a three-run double for the Red Sox, who entered the night in a virtual tie with Toronto for the two AL wild-card spots; New York was a half game back. The Yankees beat Cleveland 8-0 and Minnesota topped Toronto 7-3 on Friday, leaving Boston and New York in playoff position at the end of the night, with the Blue Jays a half-game back.
Baltimore became the first team to reach 100 losses this season; Arizona entered the night at 99. The Orioles have lost at least
100 in each of the last three 162-game seasons.
Sale (4-0) spent all of 2020 and the first 41/2 months of this season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Then, after five starts, he tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 10 and was scratched from the following start. He was activated from the IR on Friday.
The seven-time All-Star allowed a home run off the Green Monster light tower to Austin Hays, and Cedric Mullins’ single. Sale struck out one, walked none and hit a batter, leaving after five innings and 79 pitches with a 3-1 lead.
J.D. Martinez doubled in a run in the fifth to make it 4-1. All four runs were charged to Keegan Akin (2-10), who gave up six hits and three walks before leaving when he walked the leadoff batter to start the fifth.
Renfroe hit a bases-loaded double in the sixth that Mullins dove for in center but couldn’t get, scoring three more runs.
The Red Sox wore their yellow and blue Boston Marathon-themed uniforms that they had debuted on Patriots Day.
PHILLIES 4, METS 3
NEW YORK — Zack Wheeler limited the damage in a short but effective outing against his old team, Brad Miller hit a tiebreaking homer and Philadelphia held off New York in a showdown between teams clinging to postseason aspirations.
The Phillies started the day 21⁄2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card, with San Diego and Cincinnati also in the way. They were three games behind NL Eastleading Atlanta, with the Mets another 21/2 games back of that.
Philadelphia’s bullpen — which leads the majors with 32 blown saves — nearly gave up Wheeler’s lead. Archie Bradley allowed two runs in the eighth on doubles by Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto and Kevin Pillar before Ian Kennedy took over and got the last out of the inning.
Kennedy also pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save of the season, including seven since a deadline trade from Texas. Brandon Nimmo flied out to the warning track in left-center for the final out, and the Mets (72-76) dropped to 2-15 in their last 17 one-run games.
Wheeler (14-9) allowed a run and struck out six over five-plus innings, walking one and plunking two on 93 pitches. The NL Cy Young Award hopeful stretched his league-leading punchout total to 231 and reached 200 innings in a season for the first time. His ERA inched down to 2.83.