- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) - Corey Kluber is moving into select company when it comes to striking out batters.

Kluber allowed three hits and struck out 12 in eight innings to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 on Thursday.

Kluber (7-2) tied a franchise record held by Hall of Famer Bob Feller with four consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts. Feller struck out 10 or more batters in his last three starts in 1938 and his first start in 1939.

“It’s cool to do those kinds of things,” Kluber said. “You take a moment to appreciate it and move on. It’s probably something you appreciate more down the road.”

It’s the 30th time that Kluber has reached double figures in strikeouts in his career. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and finished second in the voting last season.

“It’s like the last three years he’s been pitching,” second baseman Jason Kipnis said. “It’s who he’s become.”

Kluber is 41-0 in 45 career starts when the Indians have scored five or more runs.

Pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall had a two-run double in Cleveland’s three-run sixth inning. Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion also had RBIs for the Indians, who won six of seven over the Rangers this season.

Andrew Cashner (3-7) was struck on the right elbow by a broken bat in the sixth inning and was removed a batter later. The Rangers said he sustained a bruise and X-rays were negative.

Cashner was hit when Encarnacion broke his bat hitting an RBI single. He went down on his knees behind the mound and held the elbow as manager Jeff Banister and a team trainer came out. Cashner threw a warmup pitch and remained in the game, but was removed after Jose Ramirez’s single.

“It was definitely very scary,” Cashner said. “I never saw it before it got to the mound.”

“I’m sure he’s going to be sore and stiff, but he dodged a bullet,” Banister said. “He got lucky.”

Cashner made his first start since June 14 after being on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

Kluber was in command other than Nomar Mazara’s two-out homer in the first. Rougned Odor had a leadoff single in the second and Adrian Beltre singled with one out in the seventh.

The right-hander, who walked one, is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 43 innings since coming off the disabled list on June 1. He was out for a month with a strained lower back.

FAST ROOKIE

Bradley Zimmer beat out an infield hit and scored from third on a wild pitch that bounced a few feet from home plate in the third.

“Talk about manufacturing with his legs,” manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t know how many guys are able to beat that ball out. I don’t know how many guys can score. All the way around, that was just his speed.”

NOT A FUN VISIT

Rangers DH Mike Napoli received his AL championship ring and was cheered in every at-bat, but his return to Cleveland didn’t go well at the plate. He was 1 for 10 with seven strikeouts.

HE LIKES IT HERE

Andrus was 1 for 4 and has hit in 33 of 35 career games at Progressive Field. He’s batting .415 (56 for 135) in Cleveland’s ballpark.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (broken right thumb) continues to throw pitches every day, but has yet to play catch because his thumb cannot fit in a standard glove. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since June 24.

Indians: OF Austin Jackson (strained left quad) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment in a couple of weeks. He was injured running the bases Sunday.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx opens a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago. The 32-year-old rookie has won two straight starts on the road.

Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin begins a four-game series in Detroit. He was tagged with his team-high ninth loss on June 25 against Minnesota, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

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