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Indians' Corey Kluber bested by Red Sox, Drew Pomeranz

By RYAN LEWIS • Aug 23, 2017 at 10:51 PM

CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber's dominance since June 1 has become his status quo. But for one night, a friend-turned-foe bested him as the Indians fell 6-1 to the Boston Red Sox in what was a pitchers duel until the ninth inning at Progressive Field on Wednesday night.

After a hiccup in his previous start, Kluber looked every bit the ace who has put himself into the Cy Young conversation, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out 12 in 7 2/3 innings.

It was the 15th time in 16 starts since coming off the disabled list that Kluber has recorded at least eight strikeouts. His fourth of the night — of Xander Bogaerts in the second inning — was his 200th of the season, marking his fourth consecutive season with at least that many strikeouts.

Kluber is the third pitcher currently to have at least 200 strikeouts in at least four consecutive seasons, joining Boston's Chris Sale and Washington's Max Scherzer.

He's also the third pitcher in Indians history to do so. Bob Feller and Sam McDowell had been the only Indians pitchers to accomplish that feat prior to Kluber.

Two of Kluber's four hits allowed were ground-ball singles that were beaten out in close plays at first base. The third and fourth hits were the issue. The third was Mitch Moreland's solo home run to right field in the fifth inning that put the Red Sox (73-53) up 1-0. The fourth was Mookie Betts' RBI single in the eighth that finally ended Kluber's night.

The Red Sox later added four insurance runs in the ninth off Joe Smith and Bryan Shaw.

It was yet another strong outing for Kluber (12-4), but it just wasn't enough for the Indians (68-56), who were stifled by Drew Pomeranz (13-4). The left-hander tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and gave up only two hits and striking out nine.

Pomeranz was traded in 2011 by the Indians as part of a package to the Colorado Rockies to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez. After stints with the Oakland A's and the San Diego Padres, he was traded to Boston in 2016. And, for at least one night, he tormented his former team with a dynamite performance.

Kluber and Pomeranz — both traded as minor-league prospects with several quality seasons in the big leagues — traded shutdown innings until the Red Sox finally got to Kluber a bit and roughed up the bullpen.

The Indians had only one real threat for a rally. That came in the fourth inning when Jay Bruce was hit by a pitch with one out, and Brandon Guyer followed by ripping a single to left field. But Pomeranz quickly disposed of the rally by striking out both Yandy Diaz and Yan Gomes to end the inning.

Facing Red Sox reliever Addison Reed in the eighth, Edwin Encarnacion crushed a solo home run to left field that landed three-fourths of the way up the bleachers and traveled an estimated 452 feet. It was his 29th home run of the season, but it was the lone shot into the night for an otherwise muzzled offense.


(c)2017 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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