Indians win 20 straight
Streak ties AL record, is third longest in major league history
The Associated Press
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.
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 American League mark held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday.
Cleveland’s streak, which began Aug. 24 in Boston, is tied for the majors’ second-longest 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 five-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 Indians are 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.
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. He allowed a leadoff double in the first to Ian Kinsler, but stranded him at third by striking out Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos to end the inning.
Cabrera came in batting .434 against Kluber but went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (5-10) allowed one run on six hits and a walk while striking out five in five innings.
The Tigers have been beaten six times by the Indians during their streak.
“In a way, it doesn’t surprise me,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of Cleveland’s three-week dominance. “Because if any team could do it, it’s them. They’ve got it all.”