MLB

Surging Indians to get injured ace back for Thursday start

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field on Sunday, August 9, 2015.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field on Sunday, August 9, 2015.

Indians ace Corey Kluber has been cleared to return from a right hamstring injury and will start Thursday night against Kansas City.

Last year's AL Cy Young winner, Kluber did some infield work on Tuesday. Manager Terry Francona says the right-hander ''did fine,'' was given the OK by the medical staff and will face the Royals in the series finale. Kluber's return is a big boost for the Indians, who have won 13 of 18 to get back to .500 and are battling for one of the AL's wild-card spots.

Kluber hasn't pitched since Aug. 29. He threw two bullpen sessions in recent days.

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He's just 8-13 this season, but Kluber, who went 18-9 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014, has pitched better than his record shows. He has a 3.41 ERA and ranks among the league leaders in innings, strikeouts and complete games.