Indians go for team-record 15th straight win
CHICAGO — Corey Kluber continues to demonstrate just why the Cleveland Indians have dominated opponents this season.
The Indians right-hander, who is 14-4, enters his Thursday start against the Chicago White Sox with an American League-leading 2.56 ERA and the league’s lowest opponents’ batting average (.194).
Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio
So he is just the guy to lead the Indians as they seek a franchise-record 15th consecutive victory in the series finale against the Chicago White Sox.
Kluber also ranks in the top five in other pitching categories for the defending American League champions (83-56), who own the league’s second-best record behind the Houston Astros.
“He’s one of the best in the game, and it’s nice when a guy reaches that point and continues to really get after it and work so he can even try and get better,” Indians manager Terry Francona said earlier this summer. “We rely on him so much, and he knows that. It’s nice to put his name in there every five days.”
Kluber was named American League Pitcher of the Month for August after going 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA in six starts. He also has won seven of his last eight decisions, and he has won five consecutive decisions on the road dating back to a June 1 return from the disabled list.
The Indians matched their record 14-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday. They set the original record in 2016 en route to the American League pennant and a seven-game loss to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.
The longest regular-season winning streak without a tie in major league history is 21, last achieved by the 1935 Chicago Cubs.
In 18 career appearances (17 starts) against the White Sox, Kluber is 8-4 with a 3.28 ERA. He has faced Chicago three times this season, going 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA, including a complete-game shutout on April 21 at Guaranteed Rate Field as he gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out nine.
The White Sox (54-84) will send left-hander Carlos Rodon (2-5, 4.15 ERA) out for his 13th start since returning from the 60-day disabled list on June 28. He had been sidelined due to left biceps bursitis.
Rodon had a no-decision in his last start on Saturday against Tampa Bay, giving up one run and two hits in four innings while striking out four.
Rodon is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 10 career games (nine starts) against the Indians. He had a no-decision the last time he met Cleveland, on July 30, giving up one run and six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Chicago won 3-1.
The White Sox see Rodon as a big piece of future rotations.
“I think he’s got a quality arm that I believe, if he stays within himself, can be an impactful guy as part of the next group of pitchers that are joining us,” manager Rick Renteria said.
While the series ends Thursday, the White Sox and Indians aren’t through yet. They will meet again at Progressive Field to close the season, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.
Chicago hosts the San Francisco Giants for a three-game interleague series that kicks off Friday. Cleveland returns home for a 10-game homestand, starting with a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles that also opens on Friday.
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