Kluber pitches Indians past Rays 3-0
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey 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.
Rays: C Michael Perez was placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. … OF Mallex Smith (viral infection) begins a rehabilitation assignment Saturday with Single-A Charlotte. Smith fell ill and was hospitalized last week. Manager Kevin Cash said the leadoff hitter could be activated when he is eligible on Monday.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (right fibula stress fracture) underwent a second bone scan and will learn the results Saturday. The All-Star was struck by a line drive on Aug. 11 and is expected to be out until mid-September.
Rays LHP Blake Snell (16-5, 2.05 ERA) takes on Indians RHP Shane Bieber (8-2, 4.52 ERA) in the second game of the series. Snell is tied for third in the majors in victories behind Severino and Kluber.