Back-to-back: Indians clinch second straight Central title

CLEVELAND (AP) Francisco Lindor planned to pour a bottle of water over his head. On Sunday, he'll switch to champagne.

For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Indians are AL Central champions.

A few hours after they beat Kansas City 8-4 in the first game since the Royals stopped their AL record winning streak at 22, the Indians clinched the division title when second-place Minnesota lost to Toronto.

When their second crown became official, the Indians were long gone from Progressive Field, leaving the ballpark to spend time with family or toast a memorable week. In Lindor's case, he was set to eat pizza and watch the boxing match between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Lindor said if the Twins lost he would dump water on himself before focusing on the fight.

The bout figured to be close. The Indians knocked out the Twins, Royals, Tigers and White Sox.

But a division crown is only the first step for the Indians, whose mission is to win the World Series after coming so close last year. From the moment they lost to the Chicago Cubs in seven games, the Indians have been focused on getting back. Cleveland hasn't won a Series title since 1948, baseball's longest drought.

''Our goal is to go out there and win games and make it to the postseason and make it as far as we can in the postseason,'' said Lindor, who set a club record by getting an extra-base hit in his 10th straight game. ''That's our goal. It doesn't matter what I do or what we did in the past.''

Manager Terry Francona's team will finally get to spray champagne inside its own park following Sunday's series finale. Last year, Cleveland won the division and ended two playoff series on the road, so this year's celebration is long overdue.

This is the Indians' ninth Central title and the first time they've won consecutive division titles since 1999, when they finished a run of five straight first-place finishes with dominant teams. None of those teams won the Series, either.

While Cleveland's historic winning streak is no longer the talk of baseball, Lindor's on a personal roll that's become notable.

The All-Star's double in the sixth off Jason Hammel (8-12) gave him an extra-base hit in 10 straight games - a club record and four shy of the major league mark of 14, shared by Chipper Jones (2006) and Paul Waner (1927).

''I didn't even know that,'' Lindor said. ''I saw it on the scoreboard.''

Carlos Carrasco (16-6) pitched into the seventh and Edwin Encarnacion hit his 35th homer as the Indians improved to 32-5 in their last 37 games.

Alex Gordon connected for the Royals, whose wild-card hopes took another blow and couldn't stay close to the Indians.

''They're all hot,'' Hammel said. ''There's a good reason they're going to be wrapping it up.''

Following Friday's 4-3 loss, the Indians were warmly saluted by their fans, who and gave them a rousing standing ovation in appreciation for the longest win streak baseball has seen since the 1916 New York Giants won 26 in a row.

No doubt the streak was fun, but it served as little more than a September diversion for these Indians.

''I was happy about that,'' Francona said of his team's ability to rebound. ''I didn't think we wouldn't, but it's nice to see them go right back to trying to be as good of a team as we can be.''

The sensational Lindor is leading their charge.

With the Indians up by a run and with two on in the sixth, Lindor doubled high off the left-field wall to make 5-2. It was Lindor's 40th double and broke a tie with Hal Trosky, who hit either a double, triple or homer in nine consecutive games for Cleveland in 1934.

''He's using the whole field.'' Francona said. ''And he's strong enough and he's got probably 1,500 at-bats under his belt. So, he knows the league and he understands situations more. That comes with experience. So he's still every bit as dangerous. He just also is finding his hits, spraying the ball around.''

SWEET 16s

The Indians now have three pitchers - Kluber, Carrasco and Trevor Bauer - with 16 wins. They are the first Cleveland pitchers to get at least 16 in the same season since Early Wynn, Bob Lemon and Herb Score in 1956.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: All-Star C Salvador Perez (pulled muscle in right side) will likely be out until Tuesday when Kansas City opens a series in Toronto. He hurt himself taking a swing on Thursday.

Indians: OF Brandon Guyer aggravated a wrist injury that sidelined him for six weeks earlier this season. He'll undergo treatment and is expected to miss 5-to-7 days. ... OF Lonnie Chisenhall will also miss a week after aggravating a calf injury. ... OF Jason Kipnis got medical clearance to be activated Sunday and will play at least five innings in center field, his first time in the outfield since he was in the minors in 2009.

UP NEXT

Kluber pitched a five-hit shutout in his last start and is 8-1 in his last nine starts. He'll face LHP Danny Duffy, who will make his first start since Aug. 22 after being on the disabled list with a sore elbow.

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
RoyalsKC73-75
001100200491
IndiansCLE92-57
01200410X8130
  • W: C. Carrasco (16-6)L: J. Hammel (8-12)
  • HR: KC - A. Gordon (7), CLE - E. Encarnacion (35)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B40210000.286.326.462.7885.0
L. Cain CF30100101.303.366.446.8122.0
P. Orlando CF00000000.167.191.182.3730.0
E. Hosmer 1B40100013.324.390.509.8990.5
M. Cabrera RF41200001.287.327.430.7574.0
M. Moustakas 3B30000123.271.314.523.8370.0
C. Cuthbert 3B00000000.227.275.328.6030.0
B. Moss DH30010002.210.286.450.7361.0
A. Escobar SS41100000.253.274.353.6263.0
A. Gordon LF41111031.208.284.307.5914.5
D. Butera C41110010.242.289.342.6323.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    F. Lindor SS42320100.281.341.511.8529.0
    A. Jackson CF42210112.307.374.485.8595.5
    C. Santana 1B40210000.267.374.478.8523.0
    E. Encarnacion DH31121012.252.376.495.8716.5
    J. Bruce RF41200001.255.325.513.8384.0
    Y. Diaz 3B31200010.270.369.328.6974.5
    E. Gonzalez 2B10000001.275.292.451.7430.0
    A. Almonte LF31110003.233.315.374.6893.0
    G. Allen LF00000000.200.259.360.6190.0
    Y. Gomes C40000003.224.301.371.6730.0
    G. Urshela 3B40000003.224.271.272.5430.0
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Cabrera (27), A. Escobar (32), D. Butera (4)
      • HR - A. Gordon (7)
      • SF - B. Moss (2)
      • RBI - W. Merrifield (71), B. Moss (47), A. Gordon (43), D. Butera (14)
      • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield (27), D. Butera (5)
      BATTING
      • 2B - F. Lindor (40), J. Bruce (27)
      • HR - E. Encarnacion (35)
      • SF - E. Encarnacion (5), A. Almonte
      • RBI - F. Lindor 2 (81), A. Jackson (32), C. Santana (78), E. Encarnacion 2 (92), A. Almonte (14)
      • 2-Out RBI - F. Lindor 2 (20), A. Jackson (14)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - W. Merrifield (30)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - Y. Diaz (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - A. Escobar, W. Merrifield, M. Moustakas, E. Hosmer
      • E - D. Butera (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - F. Lindor, G. Urshela, C. Santana
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Hammel (L, 8-12)6.011761305.051.41-3.5
      K. McCarthy1.02110012.901.310.0
      M. Morin1.00001006.321.532.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Hammel (L, 8-12)6.0
      K. McCarthy1.0
      M. Morin1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Carrasco (W, 16-6)6.28442513.481.1013.5
      A. Miller (H, 22)0.10000001.610.800.0
      Z. McAllister1.01000102.731.212.5
      N. Goody1.00000102.581.053.5
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Carrasco (W, 16-6)6.2
      A. Miller (H, 22)0.1
      Z. McAllister1.0
      N. Goody1.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Hammel (7)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hammel 96-65, K. McCarthy 11-8, M. Morin 17-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hammel 4-11, K. McCarthy 2-0, M. Morin 1-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Hammel 30, K. McCarthy 4, M. Morin 4
      PITCHING
      • WP - C. Carrasco (9)
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Carrasco 101-70, A. Miller 2-2, Z. McAllister 12-8, N. Goody 8-5
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Carrasco 5-8
      • Batters Faced - C. Carrasco 28, A. Miller, Z. McAllister 4, N. Goody 3
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      RoyalsKC73-75
      001100200491
      IndiansCLE92-57
      01200410X8130
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      W. Merrifield 2B40210000.286.326.462.7885.0
      L. Cain CF30100101.303.366.446.8122.0
      P. Orlando CF00000000.167.191.182.3730.0
      E. Hosmer 1B40100013.324.390.509.8990.5
      M. Cabrera RF41200001.287.327.430.7574.0
      M. Moustakas 3B30000123.271.314.523.8370.0
      C. Cuthbert 3B00000000.227.275.328.6030.0
      B. Moss DH30010002.210.286.450.7361.0
      A. Escobar SS41100000.253.274.353.6263.0
      A. Gordon LF41111031.208.284.307.5914.5
      D. Butera C41110010.242.289.342.6323.5
      Total3349412711-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        F. Lindor SS42320100.281.341.511.8529.0
        A. Jackson CF42210112.307.374.485.8595.5
        C. Santana 1B40210000.267.374.478.8523.0
        E. Encarnacion DH31121012.252.376.495.8716.5
        J. Bruce RF41200001.255.325.513.8384.0
        Y. Diaz 3B31200010.270.369.328.6974.5
        E. Gonzalez 2B10000001.275.292.451.7430.0
        A. Almonte LF31110003.233.315.374.6893.0
        G. Allen LF00000000.200.259.360.6190.0
        Y. Gomes C40000003.224.301.371.6730.0
        G. Urshela 3B40000003.224.271.272.5430.0
        Total34813712315-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Cabrera (27), A. Escobar (32), D. Butera (4)
          • HR - A. Gordon (7)
          • SF - B. Moss (2)
          • RBI - W. Merrifield (71), B. Moss (47), A. Gordon (43), D. Butera (14)
          • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield (27), D. Butera (5)
          BATTING
          • 2B - F. Lindor (40), J. Bruce (27)
          • HR - E. Encarnacion (35)
          • SF - E. Encarnacion (5), A. Almonte
          • RBI - F. Lindor 2 (81), A. Jackson (32), C. Santana (78), E. Encarnacion 2 (92), A. Almonte (14)
          • 2-Out RBI - F. Lindor 2 (20), A. Jackson (14)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - W. Merrifield (30)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - Y. Diaz (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - A. Escobar, W. Merrifield, M. Moustakas, E. Hosmer
          • E - D. Butera (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - F. Lindor, G. Urshela, C. Santana
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Hammel (L, 8-12)6.011761305.051.41-3.5
          K. McCarthy1.02110012.901.310.0
          M. Morin1.00001006.321.532.0
          Total8.01387231---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Hammel (L, 8-12)6.0
          K. McCarthy1.0
          M. Morin1.0
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          C. Carrasco (W, 16-6)6.28442513.481.1013.5
          A. Miller (H, 22)0.10000001.610.800.0
          Z. McAllister1.01000102.731.212.5
          N. Goody1.00000102.581.053.5
          Total9.0944271---
          PITCHERSIP
          C. Carrasco (W, 16-6)6.2
          A. Miller (H, 22)0.1
          Z. McAllister1.0
          N. Goody1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - J. Hammel (7)
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Hammel 96-65, K. McCarthy 11-8, M. Morin 17-10
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Hammel 4-11, K. McCarthy 2-0, M. Morin 1-2
          • Batters Faced - J. Hammel 30, K. McCarthy 4, M. Morin 4
          PITCHING
          • WP - C. Carrasco (9)
          • Pitches-Strikes - C. Carrasco 101-70, A. Miller 2-2, Z. McAllister 12-8, N. Goody 8-5
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Carrasco 5-8
          • Batters Faced - C. Carrasco 28, A. Miller, Z. McAllister 4, N. Goody 3
          • 7TH INNING
            Encarnacion homered to center48
            Merrifield singled to shallow left center, Butera scored47
            Butera doubled to deep right center, Escobar scored37
          • 6TH INNING
            Jackson singled to center, Lindor and Jackson scored on catcher Butera fielding error27
            Lindor doubled to deep left, Diaz and Almonte scored25
          • 4TH INNING
            Moss hit sacrifice fly to left, Cabrera scored23
          • 3RD INNING
            Encarnacion hit sacrifice fly to left, Jackson scored13
            Santana singled to right center, Lindor scored, Jackson to third12
            Gordon homered to right center11
          • 2ND INNING
            Almonte hit sacrifice fly to center, Bruce scored01
          • 9TH INNING
            • Nick Goody relieved Zach McAllister
            • A. Escobar: Ball, Escobar flied out to shallow right
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gordon struck out looking
            • D. Butera: Butera flied out to deep right
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Greg Allen in left
            • Zach McAllister relieved Andrew Miller
            • E. Hosmer: Ball, Strike looking, Hosmer singled to shallow left
            • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Ball, Cabrera flied out to left
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
            • B. Moss: Ball, Moss flied out to left
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Mike Morin relieved Kevin McCarthy
            • Cheslor Cuthbert at third
            • Paulo Orlando in center
            • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Gomes lined out to right
            • G. Urshela: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Urshela flied out to left
            • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Lindor walked
            • A. Jackson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Jackson reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Lindor out at second
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Erik Gonzalez at second
            • B. Moss: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Moss grounded out to shortstop
            • A. Escobar: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Escobar doubled to deep left
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Strike looking, Strike looking, Gordon struck out looking
            • D. Butera: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Butera doubled to deep right center, Escobar scored
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Merrifield singled to shallow left center, Butera scored
            • Andrew Miller relieved Carlos Carrasco
            • L. Cain: Strike looking, Cain lined out to center
            • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Kevin McCarthy relieved Jason Hammel
            • E. Encarnacion: Ball, Ball, Encarnacion homered to center
            • J. Bruce: Strike looking, Foul, Bruce reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • E. Gonzalez: Ball, Foul, Gonzalez reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Bruce out at second
            • A. Almonte: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Almonte grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Gonzalez out at second
            • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • L. Cain: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cain flied out to right
            • E. Hosmer: Hosmer grounded out to second
            • M. Cabrera: Cabrera singled to left
            • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Moustakas struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Diaz singled to right center
            • A. Almonte: Almonte singled to center, Diaz to second
            • Y. Gomes: Foul, Gomes fouled out to third
            • G. Urshela: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Urshela flied out to right, Diaz to third
            • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Lindor doubled to deep left, Diaz and Almonte scored
            • A. Jackson: Ball, Jackson singled to center, Lindor and Jackson scored on catcher Butera fielding error
            • C. Santana: Santana flied out to center
            • End of the 6th (4 Runs, 4 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 5TH INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • D. Butera: Butera fouled out to first
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • C. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Santana grounded out to shortstop
            • E. Encarnacion: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Encarnacion struck out looking
            • J. Bruce: Ball, Strike looking, Bruce grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • M. Cabrera: Ball, Strike looking, Cabrera doubled to right
            • M. Moustakas: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Moustakas lined out to center
            • B. Moss: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Cabrera to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Moss hit sacrifice fly to left, Cabrera scored
            • A. Escobar: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Escobar lined out to right
            • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • Y. Gomes: Gomes flied out to left
            • G. Urshela: Strike looking, Ball, Urshela lined out to left
            • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Lindor singled to center
            • A. Jackson: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Jackson struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • A. Escobar: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar lined out to left
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Gordon homered to right center
            • D. Butera: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Butera struck out swinging
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Merrifield singled to shallow center
            • L. Cain: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Merrifield stole second, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Cain walked
            • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Hosmer struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Lindor singled to right
            • A. Jackson: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Jackson walked, Lindor to second
            • C. Santana: Foul, Santana singled to right center, Lindor scored, Jackson to third
            • E. Encarnacion: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Encarnacion hit sacrifice fly to left, Jackson scored
            • J. Bruce: Bruce popped out to shortstop
            • Y. Diaz: Ball, Diaz singled to center, Santana to third
            • A. Almonte: Almonte flied out to left
            • End of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • M. Cabrera: Cabrera flied out to deep center
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Moustakas walked
            • B. Moss: Moss grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Moustakas out at second
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • J. Bruce: Ball, Bruce doubled to left center
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Bruce to third on wild pitch
            • A. Almonte: Ball, Foul, Almonte hit sacrifice fly to center, Bruce scored
            • Y. Gomes: Foul, Ball, Diaz stole second, Ball, Foul, Gomes lined out to left
            • G. Urshela: Ball, Urshela flied out to left
            • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • C. Carrasco Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Merrifield lined out to left
            • L. Cain: Strike looking, Ball, Cain singled to right
            • E. Hosmer: Pickoff attempt, Hosmer grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Cain out at second
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • F. Lindor: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Lindor grounded out to first
            • A. Jackson: Ball, Foul, Jackson singled to right center
            • C. Santana: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Santana singled to center, Jackson to second
            • E. Encarnacion: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Encarnacion grounded into double play third to first, Jackson out at third
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)