Indians beat Yankees 5-1

The spotlight was fixed on Sonny Gray on Thursday for his Yankees debut, but Indians ace Corey Kluber quickly pulled it back in his direction. Kluber’s complete-game gem led Cleveland to its eighth straight home win, a 5-1 victory at Progressive Field.

Acquired by New York from Oakland prior to Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, Gray logged six solid innings, but he was outpitched by Kluber and undone by a trio of first-inning errors by the Yankees. In his first outing for New York, Gray was charged with four runs (two earned) with six strikeouts and three walks.

“That guy, when he’s on, he’s tough to handle,” Gray said of Kluber. “He was on tonight. When he’s got those breaking balls and he’s throwing that comeback fastball, he really is tough to handle.”

Cleveland’s two-run first inning proved enough for Kluber, whose lone blemish in his complete game was a solo homer by Gary Sanchez in the seventh. The right-hander ended with 11 strikeouts, marking the 11th time this season (10th in the past 12 starts) that Kluber reached double digits.

“Klubes just took over,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He knows what he wants to do, and he works so hard where he’s able to do it. He keeps himself in great shape. He doesn’t get tired. It’s fun to watch. It’s nice when you get some runs to spread it a little bit out, so you can enjoy it a little bit.”

Kluber also joined Randy Johnson (four times), Pedro Martinez (twice) and Nolan Ryan (once) as the only pitchers since at least 1913 with eight or more strikeouts in at least 12 straight starts. Johnson was the last to achieve the feat with a 17-game run between the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

“That’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?” Indians catcher Yan Gomes said. “It’s really awesome. We came up from Triple-A together in 2013, and I’ve been fortunate enough to catch him. It’s crazy seeing his development. Every year, he seems to surprise everyone.”

Kluber’s support came via a run-scoring single in the first from Jose Ramirez, a two-run double in the sixth from Gomes and a solo homer from Francisco Lindor in the seventh. Lindor’s blast (his 18th of the season) came off Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve.

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