Kluber, Napoli lead Indians past A's 8-0 for sweep
CLEVELAND (AP) Corey Kluber admitted there was an extra buzz in the Indians' clubhouse before Sunday's game against Oakland. Acquiring one of the best relievers can do that to a team.
''There was definitely a good vibe,'' Kluber said after limiting the Athletics to five hits over seven innings in an 8-0 win. ''You could tell there was a little more excitement than normal at 9 o'clock in the morning.''
Cleveland's postseason hopes received a boost by acquiring All-Star Andrew Miller from the Yankees for four prospects. Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and the Indians completed a three-game sweep.
Miller figures to become a setup man for closer Cody Allen.
''When you make moves like this, it's exactly what you need,'' said second baseman Jason Kipnis, who drove in three runs. ''It's a jolt in the arm.''
The Indians also tried to acquire Jonathan Lucroy from Milwaukee, but the All-Star catcher refused to waive his no-trade provision.
Kluber (10-8) struck out seven and walked two, retiring Max Muncy and Ryon Healy to strand runners on second and third in the seventh. He is 4-1 in his last seven starts.
''You try to put up as many zeroes as you can and the offense put up eight runs, so it's a good day,'' Kluber said.
Three relievers completed the six-hitter.
Sonny Gray (5-10) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings for the A's, who started 9-4 after the All-Star break before getting swept.
''Felt good about where we were,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''We ran into a buzz saw here.''
Following a 36-minute rain delay at the start, Cleveland went ahead in a five-run third that included Napoli's homer, Kipnis' two-run single and Francisco Lindor's sacrifice fly.
Napoli's team-leading 24th home run this season was his 1,000th career hit. Lonnie Chisenhall, Tyler Naquin and Abraham Almonte each had two hits.
Cleveland maintained a 4 1/2 game lead over Detroit in the AL Central and manager Terry Francona knows the Indians need production throughout lineup to stay on top.
''We need to be that kind of team where we're getting contributions and not giving pitchers innings off,'' he said.
Roberto Perez was 1 for 23 this season when Gray walked him in the third, loading the bases. Perez singled in a run in the fourth.
Francona had no comment about Lucroy's decision to veto the trade that would have given the Indians a much-needed boost behind the plate.
''I don't know the specifics of why he chose to use that no-trade, but he had that in his contract, so that's his right,'' Kluber said. ''As far as we're concerned, we'll move forward with the guys we do have here.''
Athletics: LHP Rich Hill (middle finger blister) could start Friday against the Chicago Cubs. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, retroactive to July 20.
Indians: 1B Carlos Santana left the game in the ninth with cramping in his right hamstring, but Francona said he'll be OK.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea faces the Angels for the first time in his career Monday in the opener of a three-game series. He hasn't walked a batter in 26 2/3 innings over his last four appearances.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar has a 2.97 ERA, the fourth lowest in the AL going into Monday's start against Minnesota. He's 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA in eight starts this season against AL Central teams.