Kluber (11-8) struck out eight in eight innings of five-hit ball, beating CC Sabathia (6-9) in a matchup of pitchers who won the AL Cy Young Award with Cleveland.
Miller closed with a one-hit ninth for his first save with Cleveland. The lanky left-hander, acquired Sunday in a blockbuster trade, entered to a warm ovation at Yankee Stadium and fanned two batters following a leadoff single.
Miller’s first nine saves this year came with the Yankees.
With the Indians in dire need of a solid outing after five straight rocky starts, Kluber wobbled early on a muggy, soupy afternoon with a game-time temperature of 84 degrees.
Kluber settled in from there, though, and struck out the middle third of New York’s lineup in the fourth. The Yankees also ran themselves out of two chances in the middle innings – including an embarrassing blunder by Brett Gardner, who went tearing around second base on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s fly to medium right field and was easily doubled off first.
Kluber threw 100 pitches and walked only one, improving to 3-0 in his last five starts.
Cleveland’s talented rotation, so effective all season as the Indians streaked into first place, came in 0-4 with a 15.58 ERA this month – and the team was outscored 50-32 overall in losing four of its previous five games.
Kipnis connected leading off the fourth for Cleveland’s first hit, his fourth homer against the Yankees this year. Davis delivered a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
Napoli broke the tie with an opposite-field solo shot off Sabathia in the sixth over the auxiliary scoreboard in right-center. It was Napoli’s team-leading 28th homer and sixth in the past eight games. He connected in five straight through Wednesday.
Sabathia was charged with three runs in 5 2/3 innings, dropping to 1-5 in his last nine starts.