Tuesday May 22nd, 2018 8:11AM

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

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Roaring 20: Indians tie AL record with 20th straight win
Indians equal AL record with 20th straight win, matching 2002 "Moneyball" Athletics
10:20PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
10:15PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Stars turn out to push for donations for hurricane relief
Beyonce, Streisand, Wonder and Bieber among the stars who raise money for hurricane victims during 'Hand in Hand' telethon
10:10PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Among 10 Things to Know: Feds: Irma destroyed one-quarter of homes on Florida Keys; Apple unveils latest _ and most expensive _ iPhone; how Disney hopes to right 'Star Wars' ship.
9:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 3 dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning
Three people are dead from apparent from carbon monoxide poisoning at a Florida home following Hurricane Irma, and four others have been hospitalized.
8:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
Movie about marathon bombing survivor premieres at hospital
The U.S. premiere of a film chronicling the story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman has taken place at the hospital where he and others who were injured in the 2013 deadly attack were treated
8:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Odd ball: Indians chase win streak record that includes tie
Cleveland Indians chasing historic win streak record that contains a peculiar flaw: It includes a tie
2:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
Rain, rallies, 11th straight loss for LA; game ends 2:10 am
The National League-leading Dodgers lost their 11th straight game for the longest skid since the club moved to Los Angeles, finishing their 8-6 defeat to the San Francisco Giants at 2:10 a.m.
9:44AM ( 12 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Indians eye No. 20 to match "Moneyball" A's
LEADING OFF: Indians eye No. 20 to match "Moneyball" A's
3:17AM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Lawyer: 'Laughable' to say client may be tied to NY slayings
The lawyer for a carpenter convicted of killing two prostitutes says it's "laughable" for a prosecutor to say his client may be responsible for at least one of the 10 unsolved killings of people along a Long Island beach highway
9:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
Europe leaders view devastated islands as locals struggle
France's president and the Dutch king are touring Caribbean territories hammered by Hurricane Irma, bringing in much-needed food, water and medical supplies amid accusations that European governments were unprepared and slow to react to the devastation
9:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
Apple unveils $999 iPhone X with facial recognition
Apple unveils $999 iPhone X with facial recognition
8:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
US Justice Department won't charge Baltimore police officers
The U.S. Department of Justice won't bring charges against six Baltimore officers involved in Freddie Gray's arrest and death
7:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Attorney: Girl in Slender Man case had 'broken mind'
An attorney for a Wisconsin girl on trial in the stabbing of a 12-year-old classmate argues she had a "broken mind" and was delusional at the time of the 2015 attack
7:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Irma's girth and path made for a bizarre Florida storm surge
Scientists can explain why the highest water levels observed from Irma were in faraway corners, while places closer to the eye experienced a rare reverse surge.
7:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Streak on: Indians beat Orioles for 18th win in a row
The Cleveland Indians stretched their franchise-record winning streak to 18 games, beating the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 behind homers from Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez
1:10AM ( 1 day ago )
Nationals win NL East, 1st MLB team to clinch playoff spot
The Washington Nationals have won the NL East for the fourth time in six seasons
11:56PM ( 1 day ago )
NL West-leading Dodgers lose 10th in a row, Rockies romp 8-1
The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers lost their 10th straight game for their worst skid in 25 years, routed by Mark Reynolds and the Colorado Rockies 8-1
9:21PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
10:15PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Stars turn out to push for donations for hurricane relief
Beyonce, Streisand, Wonder and Bieber among the stars who raise money for hurricane victims during 'Hand in Hand' telethon
10:10PM ( 15 minutes ago )
FEMA estimates 25 percent of Florida Keys homes are gone
Federal emergency officials are estimating 25 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed by Hurricane Irma
10:10PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Justices allow Trump administration ban on most refugees
The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees
10:02PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Muslim body urges Myanmar to let in UN monitors
The world's largest Muslim body is urging Myanmar to allow in U.N. monitors so they can investigate what it alleges is systematic brutality against the Rohingya ethnic minority
9:32PM ( 54 minutes ago )