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Corey Kluber wins first AL Cy Young Award; Chris Sale finishes 3rd

Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber won the American League Cy Young Award Wednesday, edging out Seattle Mariners righty Felix Hernandez and White Sox left-hander Chris Sale in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Kluber (18-9, 2.44 ERA) won a close vote over Hernandez (15-6, 2.14) while Sale (12-4, 2.17) was third. Hernandez, the AL Cy Young winner in 2010, struck out 248 batters in 236 innings and edged Sale for the ERA title (2.14).

But Kluber pitched 235 2/3 innings, tied for the league lead in victories, pitched to a 2.44 ERA and was second in the AL with 269 strikeouts. Kluber garnered 169 votes, Hernandez 159 and Sale received 78.

Sale, 25, who missed six weeks during the first half of the season with a flexor muscle strain, finished with 208 strikeouts in 174 innings, his 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings leading the AL. Had he not sat out from April 17 through May 22, Sale’s case for the Cy might have been stronger, although he said the time off helped him finish strong. Hernandez and Kluber pitched about 60 more innings than the Sox’ three-time All-Star.

Sale’s case for the Cy Young has grown each season. He finished sixth in the voting in 2012, his first season as a starter, and fifth in 2013.

Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was a unanimous winner for the NL Cy Young.