In­di­ans clinch crown again

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

CLEVE­LAND: For the sec­ond year in a row, the Cleve­land In­di­ans are Ma­jor League Base­ball’s AL Cen­tral cham­pi­ons.

The In­di­ans clinched their ti­tle on Sat­ur­day night when sec­ond-place Min­nesota lost to Toronto. Ear­lier, the In­di­ans bounced back af­ter hav­ing their league record win­ning streak ended at 22 games by beat­ing the Kansas City Roy­als 8-4.

This is the first time the In­di­ans have won con­sec­u­tive divi­sion ti­tles since 1999, when they fin­ished a run of five straight first-place fin­ishes. All of their fans were long gone from Pro­gres­sive Field when this clinch be­came of­fi­cial.

Fran­cisco Lin­dor’s RBI dou­ble in the sixth off Ja­son Ham­mel (8-12) gave the All-Star short­stop an ex­tra-base hit in a club-record 10 straight games. The ma­jor league record is 14 straight, shared by Chip­per Jones (2006) and Paul Waner (1927).

Car­los Car­rasco (16-6) pitched into the sev­enth as the In­di­ans im­proved to 32-5 in their last 37 games.

In Min­ne­ap­o­lis, Marco Estrada pitched eight ef­fi­cient in­nings and Josh Don­ald­son home­red twice among his four hits as Toronto topped Min­nesota Twins 7-2.

The Twins’ loss clinched the AL Cen­tral for Cleve­land. They are one game ahead of the An­gels for the sec­ond wild-card spot. Estrada (9-8) gave up two runs. In Anaheim, Justin Up­ton hit two home runs, Parker Brid­well out­pitched Cole Hamels and the Los An­ge­les An­gels moved up in the AL wild-card race by beat­ing Texas 2-0.

The An­gels closed within one game of Min­nesota for the sec­ond wild-card spot.

Up­ton con­nected in the first in­ning and again in the eighth. He has 31 home runs and a ca­reer-high 103 RBIs this year with Detroit and the An­gels — it’s his sec­ond straight sea­son with at least 30 homers.

The 30-year-old Up­ton had just one homer in his first 13 games for the An­gels be­fore twice tag­ging Hamels (10-4).

Brid­well (8-2) re­tired the first 13 bat­ters he faced and left af­ter a lead­off walk in the sev­enth. Yus­meiro Petit re­tired the side in the ninth for his third save, com­plet­ing a com­bined three-hit­ter.

In San Fran­cisco, Zack Greinke pitched eight in­nings of two-hit ball and Paul Gold­schmidt hit a two-run homer as Ari­zona de­feated San Fran­cisco 2-0.

Ari­zona re­duced their magic num­ber for clinch­ing a play-off berth to six as they won for the 20th time in 25 games and for the ninth straight time on the road.

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