(Reuters) - Boston Red Sox 22-game winner Rick Porcello won one of the closest votes ever in claiming the American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, while Washington's Max Scherzer won National League honors with ease.

Porcello finished ahead of the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander 137-132 in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Cleveland's Corey Kluber was third with 98 points.

Verlander received 14 first-place votes to eight for Porcello, but slipped behind him because he was left off two of the 30 ballots, which each allowed five pitchers to be named.

Porcello originally came up with the Tigers and was a team mate of Verlander and Scherzer.

"Justin had a great year and I learned a lot from him playing in Detroit. Obviously, I wish him well in the future and big congratulations to Max for winning his second," Porcello told reporters on a conference call.

Scherzer, who won the American League award in 2013, received 25 of the 30 first-place votes in a runaway victory over Jon Lester, who was a distant second ahead of Chicago Cubs team mate Kyle Hendricks.

The hard-throwing righthander was 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA for the Nationals. He led the NL in wins, starts (34), innings (228 1/3) and strikeouts (284) and tied the major league record with 20 strikeouts against the Tigers on May 11.

Porcello said he was honored just to be listed with Verlander and Kluber among the three AL finalists.

"To win the award over a former team mate and somebody who when I came up was a veteran and I looked up to in my early days, was pretty cool," said the 27-year-old Porcello.

Verlander, who won the 2011 Cy Young and MVP award, suffered his second Cy Young near miss.

In 2012, Verlander lost to the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price 153-149 in the closest total since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970.

Major League Baseball's awards week concludes on Thursday with the Most Valuable Player Award for each league.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ian Ransom)