Roaring 20: Indians tie AL record with 20th straight win

CLEVELAND (AP) Francisco Lindor skipped through the doorway and into the Indians' clubhouse, where the pulsating music was at an ear-splitting level.

As many of his teammates dressed quickly with another game just 14 hours away, Cleveland's star shortstop worked the room, exchanging high-fives with anyone he could find.

It's almost unthinkable for a team to win 20 straight games.

Usually, that only happens in the movies.

''Moneyball'' has its sequel.

Following a familiar script of scoring first, playing strong defense and riding dominant pitching, the Indians extended their winning streak to 20 and matched the AL mark held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Cleveland's streak, which began Aug. 24 in Boston, is tied for the majors' second-longest in 82 years - and the Indians show no signs of stopping.

''It's special,'' Lindor said. ''As a kid, you dream about playing in front of a lot of fans and the crowd goes nuts. That's what you want. This is for them. It's not for us.''

Lindor homered leading off the first and Corey Kluber (16-4) strengthened his Cy Young Award case with a five-hitter as Cleveland joined the 2002 A's, 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams since 1900 to win at least 20 in a row.

''It's pretty crazy,'' Kluber said. ''To go almost three weeks without losing a game is not something that you ever really expect.''

The Progressive Field crowd of 24,654, hanging on each pitch as though it was October, stood and roared when Kluber sprinted to the mound for the ninth.

Second baseman Jose Ramirez made a sensational diving stop in short right field to throw out Ian Kinsler for the second out, and after allowing a double to Alex Presley, Kluber sealed win No. 20 - and Cleveland's seventh shutout during the streak - by getting Miguel Cabrera on an easy grounder to third.

Fireworks exploded overhead and the Indians lined up single-file the same way they have for weeks to celebrate yet another win in this unlikely streak.

''For sure, it's something special,'' Lindor said. ''It's going to be there forever.''

Although they insist they're not focused on the streak, the Indians are playing as though they don't want it to end.

They're now within reach of the Giants' revered 101-year-old mark, which includes a tie that interrupted 12- and 14-game unbeaten runs. However, the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistical custodian for Major League Baseball, has always regarded the Giants' stretch as the gold standard because tie games were replayed from the start back then.

Cleveland can equal the Cubs' 21-game run Wednesday afternoon.

The Indians and A's, whose unexpected run to the postseason 15 years ago was re-told in the film starring Brad Pitt, don't have much in common besides their 20-game streaks.

Oakland was an overachieving squad loaded with pitching and a roster comprised of low-salaried players assembled by a front office that forced baseball to rethink how it evaluated talent. The Indians, on the other hand, have spent millions to get better, and have been expected to win - big.

Maybe not at this amazing rate, but after getting to Game 7 in 2016, Cleveland was a favorite to return to the World Series.

Closing in on their second consecutive AL Central title, the Indians figured to keep things going with Kluber on the mound, and the right-hander continued his own superb stretch.

Kluber improved to 8-1 in his last nine starts and lowered his ERA to an AL-best 2.45 with his third shutout of the season and fifth complete game. He allowed a leadoff double in the first to Kinsler, but stranded him at third by striking out Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos to end the inning.

Cabrera came in batting .434 against Kluber but went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

The Tigers have been beaten six times by the Indians during their streak.

''In a way, it doesn't surprise me,'' Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of Cleveland's three-week dominance. ''Because if any team could do it, it's them. They've got it all.''

While understanding the fascination with his team's roll, Indians manager Terry Francona has been downplaying the streak so as not to make it a distraction. He chooses his words carefully whether he's talking to reporters, family or friends.

''I got one really good buddy, one of my best friends, but he's notoriously bad luck,'' Francona said. ''Everybody kind of refers to him as like the gray cloud. He knows who he is and you talk about superstitions, I will not talk to him. He is a text only.

''Oh, yeah. He knows. It cost me one job, he's not getting in the way again.''

DYNAMIC DUO

Lindor and Ramirez have carried the Indians throughout the streak.

Not only is Cleveland's double-play combination making jaw-dropping plays in the field, they're the team's hottest hitters. Lindor is batting .359 (28 for 78) with nine homers and 19 RBIs while Ramirez is hitting .391 (25 for 64) with eight homers and 14 RBIs.

MILLER'S MOMENT

Indians All-Star LHP Andrew Miller could be pitching again as early as Thursday. He's been on the disabled list with knee tendinitis, but after a successful simulated game Monday, one of the game's top relievers is ready to go. Francona said the team is weighing whether to activate Miller for the series opener against Kansas City or have him pitch another simulated game.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis is pushing to return Sunday after being sidelined since Aug. 23 with a strained hamstring. Kipnis will play center field as the club needs to add outfield depth after rookie Bradley Zimmer broke his left hand. Zimmer's fracture required a plate and nine screws in surgery. He will be re-examined in two weeks, but doctors have estimated he'll need two months to recover.

Tigers: DH Victor Martinez underwent a heart ablation to correct an irregular heartbeat that caused the five-time All-Star to be hospitalized last month. The 38-year-old is expected to return next season. .... RHP Michael Fulmer had ulnar nerve transposition surgery in Pensacola, Florida. Last season's AL Rookie of the Year is expected to be ready for spring training.

UP NEXT

The Indians will go for No. 21 in a row Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. with RHP Mike Clevinger, who hasn't allowed a run in his past three outings, starting against Tigers RHP Buck Farmer.

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This story has been corrected with Kluber throwing a five-hitter.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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

123456789RHE
TigersDET60-84
000000000050
IndiansCLE89-56
10000100X290
  • W: C. Kluber (16-4)L: M. Boyd (5-10)
  • HR: CLE - F. Lindor (30)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
I. Kinsler 2B40100010.236.313.397.7101.5
A. Presley LF30100010.313.356.396.7511.5
M. Cabrera 1B40000022.246.330.398.728-1.0
N. Castellanos RF30200011.262.313.468.7812.5
J. Candelario 3B30000012.257.333.386.719-0.5
T. Collins CF30100000.204.288.336.6231.0
B. Holaday C30000001.300.300.400.7000.0
E. Navarro DH30000011.091.130.091.221-0.5
A. Romine SS30000010.231.288.349.636-0.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    F. Lindor SS31111103.276.336.505.8417.0
    A. Jackson LF40100001.305.369.485.8541.0
    J. Ramirez 2B40200000.309.362.566.9272.0
    E. Encarnacion DH40000033.252.375.494.869-1.5
    C. Santana 1B31100112.264.373.477.8503.5
    J. Bruce RF30100102.255.324.510.8342.0
    Y. Diaz 3B30100014.268.377.333.7100.5
    G. Urshela 3B10100000.231.279.281.5601.0
    B. Guyer LF20100000.239.330.331.6611.0
    a- F. Mejia PH00000100.250.333.250.5831.0
    G. Allen CF10000002.238.273.429.7010.0
    Y. Gomes C40000026.230.308.381.689-1.0
    • a-was walked intentionally for Guyer in the 6th
    BATTING
    • 2B - I. Kinsler (22), A. Presley (8), N. Castellanos (29)
    • SH - A. Presley (3)
    BATTING
    • 2B - C. Santana (36)
    • HR - F. Lindor (30)
    • RBI - F. Lindor (78)
    FIELDING
    • DP - A. Romine, M. Cabrera
    FIELDING
    • DP - F. Lindor, C. Kluber, J. Ramirez, C. Santana
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Boyd (L, 5-10)5.06111515.901.694.5
    B. Hardy0.11110006.081.76-2.0
    D. VerHagen1.21002205.461.501.0
    D. Stumpf1.01001002.781.361.0
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Boyd (L, 5-10)5.0
    B. Hardy0.1
    D. VerHagen1.2
    D. Stumpf1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Kluber (W, 16-4)9.05000802.440.8736.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Kluber (W, 16-4)9.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - D. VerHagen (4)
    • IBB - D. VerHagen
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Boyd 116-75, B. Hardy 6-4, D. VerHagen 21-12, D. Stumpf 13-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Boyd 5-5, B. Hardy 1-0, D. VerHagen 2-0, D. Stumpf 1-2
    • Batters Faced - M. Boyd 22, B. Hardy 2, D. VerHagen 7, D. Stumpf 5
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kluber 113-77
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kluber 12-5
    • Batters Faced - C. Kluber 30
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    TigersDET60-84
    000000000050
    IndiansCLE89-56
    10000100X290
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    I. Kinsler 2B40100010.236.313.397.7101.5
    A. Presley LF30100010.313.356.396.7511.5
    M. Cabrera 1B40000022.246.330.398.728-1.0
    N. Castellanos RF30200011.262.313.468.7812.5
    J. Candelario 3B30000012.257.333.386.719-0.5
    T. Collins CF30100000.204.288.336.6231.0
    B. Holaday C30000001.300.300.400.7000.0
    E. Navarro DH30000011.091.130.091.221-0.5
    A. Romine SS30000010.231.288.349.636-0.5
    Total290500087-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      F. Lindor SS31111103.276.336.505.8417.0
      A. Jackson LF40100001.305.369.485.8541.0
      J. Ramirez 2B40200000.309.362.566.9272.0
      E. Encarnacion DH40000033.252.375.494.869-1.5
      C. Santana 1B31100112.264.373.477.8503.5
      J. Bruce RF30100102.255.324.510.8342.0
      Y. Diaz 3B30100014.268.377.333.7100.5
      G. Urshela 3B10100000.231.279.281.5601.0
      B. Guyer LF20100000.239.330.331.6611.0
      a- F. Mejia PH00000100.250.333.250.5831.0
      G. Allen CF10000002.238.273.429.7010.0
      Y. Gomes C40000026.230.308.381.689-1.0
      Total3229114723-----
      • a-was walked intentionally for Guyer in the 6th
      BATTING
      • 2B - I. Kinsler (22), A. Presley (8), N. Castellanos (29)
      • SH - A. Presley (3)
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Santana (36)
      • HR - F. Lindor (30)
      • RBI - F. Lindor (78)
      FIELDING
      • DP - A. Romine, M. Cabrera
      FIELDING
      • DP - F. Lindor, C. Kluber, J. Ramirez, C. Santana
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Boyd (L, 5-10)5.06111515.901.694.5
      B. Hardy0.11110006.081.76-2.0
      D. VerHagen1.21002205.461.501.0
      D. Stumpf1.01001002.781.361.0
      Total8.0922471---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Boyd (L, 5-10)5.0
      B. Hardy0.1
      D. VerHagen1.2
      D. Stumpf1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Kluber (W, 16-4)9.05000802.440.8736.0
      Total9.0500080---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Kluber (W, 16-4)9.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - D. VerHagen (4)
      • IBB - D. VerHagen
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Boyd 116-75, B. Hardy 6-4, D. VerHagen 21-12, D. Stumpf 13-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Boyd 5-5, B. Hardy 1-0, D. VerHagen 2-0, D. Stumpf 1-2
      • Batters Faced - M. Boyd 22, B. Hardy 2, D. VerHagen 7, D. Stumpf 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Kluber 113-77
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Kluber 12-5
      • Batters Faced - C. Kluber 30
      • 6TH INNING
        Santana scored, Allen to second on wild pitch02
      • 1ST INNING
        Lindor homered to left center01
      • 9TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • A. Romine: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Romine flied out to deep center
        • I. Kinsler: Kinsler grounded out to second
        • A. Presley: Strike looking, Foul, Presley doubled to deep right center
        • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Ball, Cabrera grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • T. Collins: Collins singled to center
        • B. Holaday: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Holaday flied out to left
        • E. Navarro: Strike looking, Navarro lined into double play second to first, Collins out at first
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Daniel Stumpf relieved Drew VerHagen
        • C. Santana: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Santana walked
        • J. Bruce: Bruce flied out to left
        • G. Urshela: Urshela singled to left, Santana to second
        • G. Allen: Strike looking, Allen reached on fielder's choice to second, Santana to third, Urshela out at second
        • Y. Gomes: Pickoff attempt to first, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Gomes popped out to second
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Giovanny Urshela at third
        • M. Cabrera: Cabrera grounded out to shortstop
        • N. Castellanos: Strike looking, Castellanos singled to right
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Candelario grounded into double play shortstop to first, Castellanos out at second
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • D. VerHagen Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lindor walked
        • A. Jackson: Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Jackson grounded into double play shortstop to first, Lindor out at second
        • J. Ramirez: Ball, Ramirez singled to left
        • E. Encarnacion: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Encarnacion struck out swinging
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • A. Romine: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Romine struck out looking
        • I. Kinsler: Strike looking, Kinsler grounded out to pitcher
        • A. Presley: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Presley struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Blaine Hardy relieved Matthew Boyd
        • C. Santana: Santana doubled to left center
        • J. Bruce: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Bruce grounded out to first, Santana to third
        • Drew VerHagen relieved Blaine Hardy
        • Y. Diaz: Foul, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
        • Francisco Mejia hit for Brandon Guyer
        • F. Mejia: Mejia intentionally walked
        • Greg Allen ran for Francisco Mejia
        • Y. Gomes: Ball, Santana scored, Allen to second on wild pitch, Ball, Foul, Gomes grounded out to third
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • T. Collins: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Collins grounded out to first
        • B. Holaday: Strike looking, Holaday grounded out to shortstop
        • E. Navarro: Ball, Ball, Foul, Navarro flied out to left
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Boyd Pitching:
        • A. Jackson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Jackson grounded out to pitcher
        • J. Ramirez: Foul, Ball, Ramirez grounded out to shortstop
        • E. Encarnacion: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Encarnacion struck out on foul tip
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • A. Presley: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Presley grounded out to pitcher
        • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
        • N. Castellanos: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Castellanos doubled to deep right
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Candelario struck out looking
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Boyd Pitching:
        • B. Guyer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Guyer grounded out to third
        • Y. Gomes: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Gomes struck out swinging
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Foul, Foul, Lindor lined out to center
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • E. Navarro: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Navarro struck out looking
        • A. Romine: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Romine grounded out to first
        • I. Kinsler: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Kinsler struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Boyd Pitching:
        • A. Jackson: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Jackson singled to left center
        • J. Ramirez: Strike looking, Ramirez singled to right, Jackson to second
        • E. Encarnacion: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Encarnacion struck out looking
        • C. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
        • J. Bruce: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Bruce walked, Jackson to third, Ramirez to second
        • Y. Diaz: Diaz flied out to right
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Strike looking, Candelario grounded out to second
        • T. Collins: Strike looking, Collins grounded out to second
        • B. Holaday: Ball, Strike swinging, Holaday fouled out to first
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Boyd Pitching:
        • C. Santana: Strike looking, Ball, Santana grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Bruce: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Bruce singled to deep right
        • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Diaz singled to left, Bruce to second
        • B. Guyer: Strike swinging, Ball, Guyer singled to left, Bruce to third, Diaz to second
        • Y. Gomes: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gomes struck out swinging
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Lindor fouled out to catcher
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Kluber Pitching:
        • I. Kinsler: Strike looking, Kinsler doubled to deep right
        • A. Presley: Presley hit sacrifice bunt to third, Kinsler to third
        • M. Cabrera: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Cabrera struck out looking
        • N. Castellanos: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Boyd Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Lindor homered to left center
        • A. Jackson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Jackson grounded out to pitcher
        • J. Ramirez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ramirez flied out to deep left
        • E. Encarnacion: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Encarnacion lined out to third
        • End of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)