In­di­ans blank Tigers, clinch 3rd straight AL Cen­tral ti­tle C

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LEVELAND-Un­chal­lenged for months, the Cleve­land In­di­ans clinched their third straight AL Cen­tral ti­tle with a 15-0 blowout on Satur­day of the Detroit Tigers, who made four er­rors and man­aged only two hits.

Fran­cisco Lin­dor and Michael Brant­ley con­nected for back-to-back homers in the first in­ning off Michael Ful­mer (3-12), Jose Ramirez had three hits and the In­di­ans built an 11-0 lead af­ter two on the way to be­com­ing the first team to clinch a divi­sion cham­pi­onship.

It’s the ini­tial step to­ward an Oc­to­ber when Cleve­land will try to win its first World Se­ries since 1948 — the long­est drought in the ma­jors. Af­ter so many close calls, the In­di­ans be­lieve this is their year.

Cleve­land’s cur­rent three-year reign in the Cen­tral is the club’s long­est since win­ning five straight from 1995-99. The In­di­ans be­came the first team this year to clinch a divi­sion and the sec­ond as­sured of the post­sea­son af­ter Bos­ton, which will be no worse than a wild card.

Mike Clevinger (12-8) al­lowed one hit in six in­nings, and Yon­der Alonso added a two-run homer as Cleve­land’s of­fense awak­ened from a late­sea­son slump.

Red Sox 5, Mets 3 BOS­TON — Pinch-hit­ter Brock Holt drove a tiebreak­ing dou­ble off the Green Mon­ster on the first pitch af­ter Jackie Bradley Jr. hit one off the very top of the left-field wall, help­ing Bos­ton lower its magic num­ber to four.

Rick Por­cello (17-7) earned his 10th straight in­ter­league vic­tory, pitch­ing five in­nings of two-hit ball as the Red Sox im­proved their ma­jor league-best record to 102-47. Steve Pearce had three hits for Bos­ton, and Craig Kim­brel pitched the ninth for his 41st save.

The Mets, who had won four straight, took a 3-1 lead on Bran­don Nimmo’s three-run homer in the fourth.

With two on in the fifth, Bradley lined a ball that bounced off the top edge of the wall and up, back to­ward the field.

Although the um­pires sig­naled for him to cir­cle the bases, Bradley was sent back to sec­ond base when re­plays showed it didn’t com­pletely clear the red line that signifies a homer.

Paul Se­wald (0-6) in­ten­tion­ally walked Rafael Dev­ers, Drew Smith re­placed Se­wald, Holt hit for Sandy Leon and, on the first pitch, lined one off the Mon­ster in left-cen­ter to score both run­ners and make it 5-3.

Bos­ton’s 102 wins is third-most in fran­chise his­tory, pass­ing the 1915 World Se­ries cham­pi­onship team. Dodgers 17, Car­di­nals 4 ST. LOUIS — Yasiel Puig home­red three times and had a ca­reer-high seven RBIs, giv­ing him five homers in two games, and Los Angeles moved into first place in the NL West.

The Dodgers moved a half-game ahead of Colorado in the divi­sion fol­low­ing the Rock­ies’ 3-0 loss to San Fran­cisco.

The Car­di­nals are a half-game be­hind Colorado in the race for the sec­ond Na­tional League wild card.

Puig hit a solo homer in the fourth off John Gant (7-6) and three-run drives in the fifth against Mike May­ers and in the sev­enth ver­sus Luke Weaver. Puig raised his season to­tal to 21 homers with the first three-homer game of his ma­jor league ca­reer. He be­came the fourth Dodgers hit­ter since 2000 with con­sec­u­tive mul­ti­homer games af­ter Cody Bellinger, Adrian Bel­tre, and Shawn Green.

Bellinger hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Weaver and had a ca­reer-high six RBIs. The de­fend­ing NL cham­pi­ons have won four con­sec­u­tive games and nine of their last 14.

Rich Hill (9-5) al­lowed four runs, two hits and four walks in five in­nings, im­prov­ing to 3-1 in seven starts against the Car­di­nals, who have lost four straight games for the third time this season. Na­tion­als 7, Braves 1 AT­LANTA — Wash­ing­ton 19-year-old rookie Juan Soto be­come the youngest player to steal three bases in a game, had an RBI sin­gle and scored the tiebreak­ing run as Wash­ing­ton stopped At­lanta’s season-best, sixgame win­ning streak.

Soto hit an RBI sin­gle in the first in­ning and stole sec­ond, then walked in the fourth, stole two bases and came home on a bases-loaded walk for a 2-1 lead.

Ac­cord­ing to the Elias Sports Bureau, he sur­passed the mark set by Oak­land’s Rickey Hen­der­son at 20 years, 241 days on Aug. 23, 1979, against Cleve­land,

Soto also ex­tended his on-base streak to 20 con­sec­u­tive games, one night af­ter join­ing Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Mickey Man­tle and Al Ka­line as the only teenagers to reach safely in 19 straight.

Wash­ing­ton starter Jeremy Hel­lick­son left af­ter re-in­jur­ing his right wrist while bat­ting in the fourth in­ning.

Hel­lick­son had been side­lined by a sprained right wrist and was mak­ing his first start since Au­gust 15.

Je­fry Ro­driguez (3-2) re­lieved to start the bot­tom half and pitched 4 2/3 hit­less in­nings. – AP

Photo: AP

Cleve­land In­di­ans’ Bran­don Barnes cel­e­brates af­ter the In­di­ans de­feated the Detroit Tigers 15-0 to clinch the Amer­i­can League Cen­tral Divi­sion, in a base­ball game on Satur­day in Cleve­land.

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