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Indians, Kluber hit rough patch entering series vs. Royals

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber will go into his start Monday night in Kansas City in an unfamiliar position: in a slump.
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In his first 14 starts this year, Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA. But in his last three starts, Kluber is 1-2 with a 6.59 ERA.

Nevertheless, the slumping Kluber will be on the mound Monday night for the Cleveland Indians, who, not coincidentally, are slumping as a team.

He’s human. Guys don’t go 35 starts (during the season) without a bump in the road, Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Kluber said, No excuses. I just didn’t get the job done. I had some things going on delivery-wise and didn’t execute my pitches consistently.

Although the Indians have a comfortable nine-game lead in the American League Central, they have had trouble winning on the road.

Fred VanVleet*, Raptors: No player was more critical to the Raptors’ bench last year than VanVleet. He’d like a deal that would bump him up to the $10-12 million per year range, but Toronto is facing the luxury tax.

Dante Exum*, Charles Barkley Youth Jersey Jazz: Exum had some strong stretches late in the season and in the playoffs, but he’s played just 80 games in the last three years. Some team might gamble on him with guaranteed money, but he could earn more by taking the one-year qualifying offer and Pat LaFontaine Jersey proving he’s healthy.

Shabazz Napier*, Trail Blazers: Napier is a solid backup who has a good role with Portland. The Blazers have serious luxury tax problems, though, and Napier could easily be poached with a relatively mild offer that Portland might not match.