Edwin Encarnacion and Francisco Lindor each homered and the Cleveland relief corps handled the rest on Thursday as the Indians completed the three-game sweep in Anaheim of the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1.
It was a “bullpen day” kind of effort on the mound for the Indians (96-57), who used six different pitchers to wrap up the season series sweep of the Angels while remaining a game in back of the neighbor Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in all of baseball. The win increased the Indians’ club record for consecutive road wins to 14 in a row while putting the Tribe at a 27-1 mark in its last 28 games. That feat has been accomplished just three times in Major League Baseball history.
The Cleveland Indians played spoilers once again as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 6-5, from Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Wednesday night.
The final score was a little closer than the Indians may have wanted, but the end result was the same as it had been in 26 of the team’s last 27 games. Another victory moved the Tribe to 95-57, but even more importantly, Cleveland is now one game behind the Angels’ California neighbor, the Los Angeles Dodgers (96-56), who dropped a 7-5 final in Philadelphia to the Phillies. The Indians maintained their lead over Houston (93-58) for the best record in the junior circuit, with the Astros victorious over the Chicago White Sox Wednesday.
The Angels (76-75) missed a chance to pick up a needed game in their own playoff pursuits, as the Minnesota Twins were shelled by the New York Yankees earlier in the evening. The Twins lead the Angels by a game and a half for the second AL Wild Card spot.
After a well deserved day off, the Cleveland Indians will get back to action across the country as the Los Angeles Angels host the top team in the American League from their home in Anaheim, California.
The Indians (93-57) remain in the driver’s seat in the race to the top record in the AL this season with the hopes of claiming home field advantage throughout the junior circuit half of the postseason. They head into the weekday series with a game and a half lead over the Houston Astros for the best record in the league. They took care of the Angels in three games back in July at Progressive Field, winning on a walk-off Edwin Encarnacion grand slam on July 25 before winning 10-4 and 2-1 decisions to close out the series.
There was no letdown for the Indians on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland’s first game after the end of its 22-game winning streak as the club used a big four-run sixth inning to break open a one-run game and coasted to an 8-4 win over the Kansas City Royals to reduce its magic number to clinch the American League Central Division to one.
Carlos Carrasco had the unfamiliar task of ending a “losing streak” for the Indians, who had not been in the position of playing after a loss since the fourth week of August. While he did not have his best stuff, he gave the Indians a good start and his offense came up with plenty of needed support to earn the win. At 92 wins and 57 losses on the year, the Tribe will need to go 8-5 in its final 13 games to reach the century mark for just the third time in franchise history.
Is there anything that this Cleveland Indians team cannot do?
Finding themselves down in the ninth inning for the first time in a 22-game span, the Indians rallied down to their final out to tie the game against Kansas City closer Kelvin Herrera and won the game on a walk-off single the next inning down the right field line by Jay Bruce as the Tribe clinched a trip to the postseason for the second straight year in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Royals on Thursday night.
The Cleveland Indians sent a very loud message to the Kansas City Royals when the two clubs met six times over two series in August. The Tribe took two of three early in the month, outscoring KC 22-5, and then swept a later set in Cleveland, putting up three straight shutouts while tallying 20 runs of their own.
The Royals will try to change that trend during a four-game weekend series with the Indians in Cleveland, but will have the daunting task of trying to stop the Indians’ 21-game winning streak first.
Is there any pitcher in Major League Baseball you would want on the mound in a big game?
The list is probably small, but Corey Kluber is a must mention. He proved once again why he is charging towards the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday night, as he blanked the Detroit Tigers on five hits for his third complete game shutout of the season while giving the Cleveland Indians their 20th consecutive win.
The improbable winning streak by the Tribe (89-56) has now matched the AL record of 20, set by the Oakland Athletics in 2002. The team will take aim at the Chicago Cubs’ Major League record of 21 straight wins in the series finale with the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.
The pressure of a long winning streak has not been too much for the Indians, as Cleveland pulled within one game of the American League record for consecutive wins on Monday night with its 19th straight victory, an 11-0 shutout of the Detroit Tigers from Progressive Field.
There seems to be little slowing down the Indians (88-56), who have made it loud and clear that they are the favorites to claim the American League pennant despite missing several big names from the lineup and appearing unfazed by injuries that have chipped away at the roster throughout the second half of the schedule. Despite missing three former All-Stars in Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley, and Jason Kipnis and losing rookie Bradley Zimmer to what appears to be a season ending broken left hand, the Indians kept on rolling in the series opener with the Tigers and continued their dominance of Detroit since the beginning of July after dropping the first two series against them to start the season.
The Indians were challenged by rookie Myles Jaye on Monday night, as the young right-hander was making his third Major League appearance and first career start with the unenviable job of stopping Cleveland’s reign of terror on AL clubs. He would dodge a jam in the first, but that would be the last time he would slow down the Tribe.
Numerous injuries, the weather, a flip of the calendar, a pair of doubleheaders in the span of three days, and even a long road trip have failed to slow down the Cleveland Indians. Baltimore proved incapable of stopping the Tribe either, as the Indians continued their utter dominance of Major League Baseball over the last few weeks by winning their 18th consecutive game, defeating the Orioles by a 3-2 final on Sunday Night Baseball.
National Football League action returned to the Cleveland lake shore earlier in the day, but it was the Indians who would be the day’s victor in town as the Indians took an early lead, responded with big back-to-back homers after the Orioles tied the game, and held on for the win as their impressive streak survived another day. The Indians may have been even more inspired prior to their nationally televised game on ESPN as they undoubtedly were aware that the Houston Astros dropped a fourth straight game in Oakland to the A’s, giving Cleveland a half-game lead for the best record in the American League heading into the final game of the day’s schedule.
The streak remained alive on Saturday afternoon as the Cleveland Indians overcame an early deficit with runs in three straight innings and added an insurance run late on the way to a 4-2 win.
The Indians (86-56) extended their franchise record for consecutive wins to 17 straight with the victory, as Cleveland guaranteed itself its fifth straight series win. Including ties, the Indians have not dropped a series since losing two games and having a third rained out on July 31 and August 1 in Boston against the Red Sox.
It took 75 years for the Cleveland Indians to break their franchise record of 13 straight wins (despite matching the mark in 1951). The team needed just 14 months to break that new record of 14, coming with the club’s victory in Chicago on Thursday.
That most recent record lasted less than 24 hours as the Indians returned home to Progressive Field and celebrated a sweet 16th as they blanked the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-0 four-hit shutout on Friday night in the first game of a ten-game homestand.
The Indians extended their winning streak to 16 straight with a big first inning home run and another start from a polished Mike Clevinger, who made a third strong start in a row for the Tribe. The shutout was the Indians’ Major League leading 17th scoreless game of the season.
Did the Tribe win last night? Of course they did.
The Cleveland Indians completed a perfect 11-0 road trip by winning a franchise-record 15th straight game with a lopsided 11-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox to sweep a second straight four-game series to accomplish a feat never done in their 117-year history.
Corey Kluber had the starting nod, giving the Indians a favorable edge to break a record barely a year old. Putting the odds even more in the favor of the visiting Cleveland club was the fact that Chicago’s probable left-hander, Carlos Rodon, was scratched mere minutes before first pitch, forcing the White Sox to turn to veteran Mike Pelfrey, who had already worked two and one-third innings in relief just two nights prior. Pelfrey’s recent use may have shown quickly on the mound as the Indians raced out to a quick first inning lead and never looked back.