Indians set AL mark with 21st straight victory
CLEVELAND — For more than 100 years, American League teams have gone on winning streaks of varying lengths — short ones, long ones, double-digit ones.
Nothing, though, like the one the Cleveland Indians have pieced together.
A streak for the ages.
Moving past the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics, the Indians set the AL record with their 21st straight win on Wednesday, 5-3 over the Detroit Tigers, to join only two other teams in the past 101 years to win that many consecutive games.
Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3) and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start as the Indians matched the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest streak since 1900.
And in doing so, they separated themselves from every AL team since the league was formed in 1901.
“Who would’ve ever thought that we’d be in this situation?” Bruce said. “I can’t even imagine.” Believe it.
The Indians are within five wins of catching the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 straight.
After leading 4-1, the Indians had to overcome a costly error and rely on their bullpen to hold off the Tigers, who have lost 11 of 12 to Cleveland and saw manager Brad Ausmus and catcher James McCann ejected from the series finale.
Roberto Perez added a homer in the seventh and four Cleveland relievers finished, with Cody Allen working the ninth for his 27th save.
There was no big celebration afterward as the Indians simply congratulated one another and stuck to their routine.
“We’re so focused,” said Bruce, who arrived via trade last month from the New York Mets. “I thought we were playing the Royals today. … Everyone comes here and gets ready to play today and I think that’s something that speaks volumes.”
Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians hits an RBI single during the third inning Wednesday.
Cleveland’s Jay Bruce celebrates with Jose Ramirez after hitting a three-run homer in the first inning Wednesday.