Kluber (19-6, 2.93) had won 18 games in each of the last three seasons and four of the last five. Tuesday's career-high marks the most wins in a single season by a Tribe starter since Cliff Lee won 22 in his Cy Young campaign of 2008. Kluber is the first Cleveland right-hander to win 19 games since Roberto Hernandez (aka. Fausto Carmona) did so in 2007.
But the victory wasn't Kluber's only accomplishment Tuesday. His fifth-inning strikeout of Chicago's Ryan LaMarre was his 200th of the season, making Kluber the first Indians pitcher since Sam McDowell (1965-1970) to record five consecutive years with 200 or more strikeouts. Bob Feller had four straight (1938-1941) and five overall.
Kluber's 11 strikeouts mark the sixth time this season he's reached double-digits in punchouts and the 28th time an Indians starting pitcher has accomplished the feat, tying Houston for the MLB lead.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner cruised through the first five innings before allowing solo home runs to Daniel Palka and Omar Narvaez in the sixth and an RBI double to Yolmer Sanchez in the seventh that cut Cleveland's lead to two runs.
But with the tying run on base in the eighth, Kluber got LaMarre to ground out, ending a Chicago scoring threat. Andrew Miller worked the ninth inning for his second save.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson passed an early test when he scored all the way from first base on a double by Melky Cabrera in the second inning. Donaldson, who was activated a week ago from the disabled list after recovering from left calf strain, showed no signs of trouble as he raced around third while the ball got past LaMarre in the left field corner.
Yan Gomes followed with an RBI base hit up the middle to give the Indians a 2-0 advantage against Chicago starter Carlos Rodon (6-6, 3.30). Jason Kipnis stretched the Tribe's lead to three with a leadoff solo home run to right against Rodon in the fifth before Yandy Diaz made it 5-0 with a two-run single to center.
What it means
The Indians defeated the White Sox for the 11th time in 14 games this season. Cleveland is a perfect 7-0 against Chicago at Progressive Field, and has outscored the Sox 78-37 overall.
Rodon threw 84 pitches, 47 (60 percent) for strikes. Kluber threw 107 pitches, 75 (70 percent) for strikes.
Thanks for coming
The Indians and White Sox drew 19,277 fans to Progressive Field. First pitch was at 7:11 p.m. with a temperature of 78 degrees.
The series continues at 7:10 p.m. today as Chicago righty Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.64) faces Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 3.41). SportsTime Ohio and WLKR-FM 95.3 will carry the game.
Carrasco will be facing the White Sox for the third time this season. He is 2-0 and has allowed just one earned run in 14 innings against the South Siders this season.