Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis and starting pitcher Corey Kluber have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending June 16th. This is the first weekly honor for both players as they become the third and fourth members of the Indians to be tabbed A.L. Player of the Week this season, joining teammates Ryan Raburn (period ending May 5th) and Justin Masterson (period ending May 19th). The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kipnis batted .524 (11-for-21) with two doubles, one home run, four RBI and five runs scored in six games over the week, topping the Major Leagues in batting average and on-base percentage (.593), and ranking second in the A.L. in hits and sixth in slugging percentage (.762). On the mound, Kluber went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA, 11 strikeouts and three walks in 16.0 innings over a pair of starts. He led the Majors in innings pitched and was tied for first overall in wins.
On June 11th, the 27-year-old Kluber held the Texas Rangers to one run on six hits with three strikeouts over 8.0 innings and Kipnis added a base hit and a run scored as the pair guided the Tribe to a 5-2 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, snapping an eightgame losing streak for the Indians. Kluber, an Alabama native who played high school baseball in nearby Coppell, Texas, reached a season high in innings over the 104-pitch outing and halted a personal four-start winless string. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old Kipnis went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run as the Indians topped the Rangers, 5-2. The Illinois native notched the first of two Cleveland runs in the fifth frame with his ninth homer of the season. After an off-day on Thursday, the Indians returned home and used some lateinning heroics on Friday to defeat the Washington Nationals, 2-1, at Progressive Field. With Cleveland's Drew Stubbs representing the winning run on third base in the home half of the ninth inning, the left-handed-hitting Kipnis ripped a sharp, one-out grounder to the firstbase side as Stubbs beat Adam LaRoche's throw home to give Cleveland their third straight victory. On Sunday, Kluber returned to the bump and held the Nationals offense at bay over 8.0 shutout innings, scattering seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks as Cleveland blanked Washington, 2-0. The Stetson University product improved to 5-4 on the season. On the offensive side, Kipnis, who hails from Arizona State University, went 1-for-1 with two walks, a sacrifice fly and a run scored as he extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 games (.432, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI during the string) with a sixth-inning single in the effort.
Other noteworthy performances included Adam Dunn (.389, 4 HR, 8 RBI) of the Chicago White Sox; Matt Joyce (.385, 4 HR, 5 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Aaron Harang (1-0, two-hit shutout with 10 SO vs. Houston on June 11th) of the Seattle Mariners.
In recognition of their American League Co-Player of the Week Awards, Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.