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Indians shut Corey Kluber down for a week

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The Indians are going to shut ace Corey Kluber down for the next week after giving him an injection in his right knee.

Kluber has an 5.03 ERA over his last six starts and the Indians say it’s the knee that is bugging him, leading to his mechanics being messed up. That week shutdown — which straddles the All-Star break — really does nothing more than (a) push his next start back a bit without him missing a full turn; and (b) keeps him from pitching in the All-Star Game. He is expected to be back in time for the club’s fourth game after the break on July 23 against the Pirates.

Kluber being shut down opens up a position on the AL All-Star team, and that position has been given to Blake Snell, who before this was considered the biggest snub of the Midsummer Classic. He is a snub no more.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.