Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Corey Kluber's 3-Hit Shutout Lifts Indians Over O's; Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger Power Dodgers

Players of the Day for Monday, June 19, 2017

American League
Kluber: 3-hit shutout

Now that they've taken over the lead in the AL Central, Cleveland has found their mid-season stride, winning their sixth straight on the arm of Corey Kluber's three-hit shutout and seven doubles by the Indians in a 12-0 rout of the Orioles in Baltimore.

Kluber, who was sidelined most of May with lower back strain, notched his third straight win since his return to action and his second shutout of the season.

After allowing a single to Adam Jones in the first inning, Kluber didn't give up another hit until the sixth, setting down 15 Orioles in a row before surrendering a single to Seth Smith. Hyun-Soo Kim's single with two out in the eighth inning was the only other hit. No Baltimore baserunner advanced past first base as Kluber dominated, striking out 11 without a walk, fanning the side in the ninth to finish with flair.

Improving to 6-2, Kluber dropped his ERA to 3.58. His 11 strikeouts are a season high for the Cleveland ace.

Having swept the Twins out of first place, the Indians extended their lead to 2 1/2 games as Minnesota was idle on Monday. Kansas City has moved into third place, just 3 1/2 out. The Royals dumped Boston, 4-2.

The Indians meet the Orioles in game two of their four-game series Tuesday, at 7:05 pm ET.

National League

Turner: .399 BA
Justin Turner went 4-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, and Cody Bellinger socked a pair of home runs to take over the NL lead with 21 as the LA Dodgers defeated the Mets, 10-6.

It was LA's fourth straight win, pulling them to within 1/2 game of idle West division-leading Colorado.

Turner, who added a fourth-inning, two run homer to his three singles, drove in four runs and ratcheted up his batting average to .399. He's batting an astounding .485 (16-for-33) in June. Turner missed about 20 games from the end of May through early June, so he doesn't have the requisite plate appearances to qualify as a leader. A player needs 3.1 plate appearances per game that his team has played to qualify. At present, Turner needs 220. He has 202. Thus, if he keeps playing regularly, he should qualify within a few weeks.

Bellinger: 21 HRs lead NL 
Bellinger, the West coast's answer to New York's Aaron Judge, became the league leader in home runs and the first player in MLB History to hit 21 home runs in just 51 games. Bellinger started the season in the minors and first got into a game on March 25. He's been a regular ever since, and has recently been tearing it up. In his last nine games, Bellinger has socked nine homers and driven in 16 runs. He also drove in four runs in the Dodger victory, giving him 48 on the year. He added a single, going 3-for-5.

The loss dropped the Mets 10 1/2 games back in the NL East, behind Washington. The four-game series continues in Los Angeles on Tuesday when the teams meet for game two, at 7:00 pm PT.

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