Corey Kluber turned in a dominant throwback performance Sunday afternoon, tossing eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts to lead the Yankees to their first sweep of the season.
Corey Kluber turned back the clock to push the Yankees back to .500.
The right-hander turned in a dominant throwback performance Sunday afternoon, tossing eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts to lead the Yankees to their first sweep of the season with a 2-0 win over the lowly Tigers at Yankee Stadium.
Becoming the first Yankees starter to throw a pitch in the eighth inning this season, Kluber allowed just two singles and one walk before finishing at 103 pitches. The gem marked his 100th career win and also lifted the Yankees (14-14) back to .500 for the first time since April 12, when they were 5-5.
Kluber used a nasty changeup to mow down the Tigers (8-21). It accounted for six of his 10 strikeouts, which were the most he has recorded since 2018, before he endured injury-plagued seasons over the next two years. Entering Sunday, he hadn’t struck out more than five batters in any of his first five starts with the Yankees.
It was the second straight impressive start for Kluber, who gave up just one run across 6 ²/₃ innings last Tuesday against the Orioles. He also continued a strong run for the Yankees rotation, allowing three runs or fewer in 13 of its past 14 starts, which has helped fuel the club’s turnaround.
Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth inning — striking out two more batters — for his sixth save of the season, wrapping up the game in 2 hours, 14 minutes.
Kluber started his day off in style, with a six-pitch first inning before striking out the side in the second.
The Yankees then provided the only offense they needed in the second inning, which began with an infield single from Gio Urshela and a walk by Aaron Hicks. One out later, Kyle Higashioka came through with an RBI double to the left-field corner for the 1-0 lead.
Brett Gardner then came within a few feet of a three-run home run to the short porch in right field, but settled for a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0. The Yankees picked up only one more hit all afternoon as they finished with just three against Jose Urena and reliever Gregory Soto.
Armed with the lead, Kluber gave up his first baserunners in the top of the third on a walk and a single. The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch with one out, but Kluber stranded them there with back-to-back strikeouts of Robbie Grossman and Jeimer Candelario.
Those strikeouts began a stretch of 10 straight Tigers retired by Kluber before Candelario floated a single to left field with two outs in the sixth inning. Kluber came back to set down the final seven batters he faced, punctuated by his 10th strikeout on his final pitch of the game.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce