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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, June 4 (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (27-31) at Cleveland Indians (29-30), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Brandon Workman (0-0, 3.24) Cleveland - Corey Kluber (6-3, 3.04)

(SportsNetwork.com) - May was a very impressive month for Cleveland hurler Corey Kluber, who made it a habit of striking out hitters at a very high rate.

The right-hander hopes that success carries over on Wednesday night when the Indians conclude a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

Kluber has not lost since April 29, going 4-0 with a 2.09 earned run average in six starts last month. He also fanned 60 batters in that span, joining Texas' Yu Darvish as the only pitchers since 2005 to record 60-plus strikeouts in a single month. Darvish fanned 64 in August of last year.

The 28-year-old Kluber also became just the fourth pitcher in Indians history to record at least 60 strikeouts in a month, joining Bob Feller, Sam McDowell and Herb Score. Kluber's 95 strikeouts on the season are among the most in the majors as well.

Kluber won his second start in a row on Friday, a 5-2 decision over the Colorado Rockies in which he gave up two runs on five hits and a walk with 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. He has fanned at least eight batters in six straight outings, a span that began with a season-high 13 on May 4.

"It's fun to write his name in every fifth day," Indians manager Terry Francona told his club's website. "He just continues to get better, and against that lineup. You see the numbers up on the board, but they're a very difficult team to strike out. They do a really good job of putting the ball in play and, just about everybody in the lineup, there's a bunch of crooked numbers up there.

"So, what he did was that much more impressive."

Kluber is 6-3 with a 3.04 ERA on the year but hasn't had much success in previous meetings with the Red Sox. In three games, including two starts, he is just 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA.

Brandon Workman will counter for the Red Sox for his third start of the season in place of the injured Felix Doubront.

Workman, who has never faced Cleveland, gave up two runs on four hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision versus Tampa Bay on Friday. His outing ended when he was ejected for throwing behind Evan Longoria in what had become a heated contest between the clubs.

The hurler was given a six-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his actions on Tuesday, but is appealing.

The 25-year-old righty has pitched to a 3.24 ERA in five total appearances on the year without a decision.

The Indians stretched their winning streak to five in a row by winning Tuesday's meeting 5-3, with Michael Bourn connecting on a go-ahead, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"I just tried to get my hands inside (the pitch) ... and hit it hard," Bourn said of his go-ahead hit.

Lonnie Chisenhall added two hits with an RBI and Michael Brantley knocked in the other run for the Indians.

Xander Bogaerts finished 2-for-4 with a solo homer for the Red Sox, who carried a seven-game winning streak into this series before losing Monday's opener. Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Herrera contributed an RBI each in defeat.

Jake Peavy surrendered all five runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.

"Jake settled down ... and kept the game under control," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter.

Boston won six of its seven matchups with the Indians last season and had won four in a row in Cleveland coming into this set. The Red Sox will now try to avoid getting swept in this series for the first time since a three-game set from April 5-7, 2011 in Cleveland.

06/04 10:41:07 ET