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 blosso
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 two-on, 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.
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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 Ramírez’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-to-back 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.
Gallo put the Yankees ahead in the second with a drive into the second deck in right. He has homered in his last four games in which he had an at-bat and has seven in his last 13 games.
New York’s loss at Baltimore on Thursday was the eighth for the Yankees in which they led in the final inning.
Indians SS Amed Rosario remains in the Dominican Republic for a family medical emergency.
Indians: Shane Bieber is likely to make another minor league rehab appearance Sunday after throwing 47 pitches over 2 2/3 innings Tuesday for Triple-A Columbus.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020) threw a simulated game on the field before batting practice and reached 96 mph. Manager Aaron Boone said the 27-year-old could join the Yankees soon as a reliever in his first major league action since 2019. … RHP Domingo Germán, who hasn’t pitched for the Yankees since July 31 because of right shoulder inflammation, is to make a minor league rehabilitation appearance Saturday. … RHP Jameson Tallion (right ankle tendon) is to throw a bullpen Saturday. … RHP Jonathan Loaisiga, out since Sept. 3 with a strained right shoulder, has started a throwing program. … RHP Sal Romano was put on the 10-day IL with a sprained right index finger, a move retroactive to Wednesday, a day after he reached with his bare hand for a comebacker at Baltimore. RHP Clarke Schmidt was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Yankees RHP Luis Gil (1-0, 2.88 ERA) starts Saturday against RHP Aaron Civale (10-4, 3.76).