Streak­ing In­di­ans tie ’02 A’s for AL con­sec­u­tive wins mark

New York Daily News - - SPORTS -

CLEVE­LAND — 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’ sec­ond­longest 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 four-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, riv­eted by 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.

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.

RED SOX 11, ATH­LET­ICS 1: Mookie Betts hit two home runs and a two-run triple, and host Bos­ton Sox rolled. The Red Sox, win­ners of five of their last six, pushed their Amer­i­can League East lead back to four games over the Yan­kees fol­low­ing New York’s loss to 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

Betts went 3 for 5 with six RBI. He’s driven in three runs or more in a teamhigh 11 games.

The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the A’s, who scored 41 runs in a fourgame sweep of the AL West-lead­ing Hous­ton Astros. They man­aged just one run and one hit off Ed­uardo Ro­driguez (5-5), who struck out nine over six in­nings.

MARINERS 10, RANGERS 3: Ben Gamel and Kyle Sea­ger both hit three-run homers for vis­it­ing Seat­tle in a matchup of wild card hope­fuls. Texas (72-72) and Seat­tle (72-73) have split the first two games of their four-game se­ries. The Rangers dropped three games be­hind Min­nesota for the Amer­i­can League’s sec­ond wild card, while the Mariners re­mained 3½ back af­ter the Twins also won.

BLUE JAYS 3, ORI­OLES 2: Richard

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