Indians to skip Corey Kluber's start to prepare for playoffs

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The Cleveland Indians have decided to skip ace Corey Kluber's weekend turn in the rotation as they begin setting up their pitching rotation for the playoffs.

Kluber lasted just 1⅔ innings -- matching his career low -- and gave up four runs and five hits in a 6-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. The right-hander and Tampa Bay's Blake Snell are tied for the most wins in the majors with 18.

Manager Terry Francona said Kluber is fine physically and that his decision is based on wanting to rest his key starters down the stretch and better set up his rotation for the playoffs. Francona is leaning toward using a four-man playoff rotation.

"Barring anything crazy, he can go into a playoff game with one extra day's rest, which is what he wants," Francona said.

Josh Tomlin will start Friday night against the Detroit Tigers.

Francona said his plan is for Kluber to miss one turn, pushing his next start back a couple of days.

Kluber is 18-7 with a 2.91 ERA in 30 starts this season after going 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA last year. He has a career record of 94-55 with a 3.09 ERA.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.