Cleveland’s streak becomes history
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians can return to clinching their division and playoff preparations.
Cleveland’s AL-record run was stopped at 22 games Friday night as the Indians were beaten by Kansas City, which became the first team to conquer the defending league champions since Aug. 23.
Jason Vargas (16-10) pitched into the sixth and Brandon Moss homered off Trevor Bauer (16-9) as the Royals ended baseball’s longest win streak in 101 years.
The Indians fell four victories shy of matching the overall record held by the 1916 New York Giants, a 26game string that included one tie.
“I think it was appropriate. We haven’t lost a game in three weeks. We played a good game,” Cleveland outfielder Jay Bruce said. “It wasn’t like we got just blown out or anything.”
After a walk-off win in extra innings on Thursday, the Indians couldn’t muster another late rally Friday.
When Francisco Lindor struck out with a runner on first to end it, the sellout crowd gave the Indians a prolonged standing ovation. Manager Terry Francona brought Cleveland’s players out of the dugout to salute the fans.
The Indians, who are already assured a playoff spot, not only broke the A.L. record set by the 2002 “Moneyball” A’s, but they served notice that they’re the team to beat in the postseason.
With one last chance in the ninth, the Indians put the potential tying run on base before Royals reliever Mike Minor struck out the side for his first pro save, fanning Lindor on a pitch in the dirt for the final out.
“What they did over there was amazing. I mean, it’s utterly amazing,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It’s just unfathomable for me that you can go three weeks without losing a game.”
On their way to making history, the Indians outscored opponents 145-41, led in all but 12 of 207 innings, and hit 42 homers.
Cleveland Indians fans give the team a standing ovation after they fell short of the longest winning streak in MLB history, finishing with 22 wins in a row.