Catch 22: Indians rally, win AL-record 22nd straight game
Sep. 15, 2017
CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — The Cleveland Indians added a walk-off win to a streak that has had everything.
Jay Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th inning as the Indians rallied for their 22nd straight win to extend their American League record, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday to move within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest streak in major league history.
After blowouts, shutouts and easy wins, the Indians, who tied it in the ninth on Francisco Lindor's two-out, two-strike RBI double, went into extra innings for the first time to keep the longest streak in 101 years intact.
Ramirez led off the 10th with a hard hit into right-center off Brandon Maurer (2-2) that he turned into a double with a head-first slide. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Bruce, the recent arrival who hit a three-run homer in win No. 21 on Wednesday, ripped a 2-0 pitch into the right-field corner.
As Progressive Field shook like it usually does in October, Bruce reached second base and was quickly mobbed his teammates, who doused him with ice water and talcum powder while tearing the front of his jersey.
These Indians aren't stopping for anything.
Down to their last strike in the ninth, the Indians rallied to tie it at 2 off closer Kelvin Herrera, with Lindor delivering his clutch shot off the left field wall, just above the leap of four-time Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon, to score pinch-runner Erik Gonzalez from first.
As Lindor's ball caromed off the wall and rolled slowly across the grass in left field, 30,874 fans who have watched the Indians overpower teams for the last three weeks, soon saw the AL Central leaders pull off their most dramatic win this season.
The Indians entered the day tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest streak, and now only trail those '16 Giants, who won 26 in a row — all at home.
The Giants won 12 straight, played a 1-1 tie, and then won 14 in a row. But because the tied game was replayed from the start the next day, it didn't technically count and therefore didn't stop New York's streak.
Unlike many of Cleveland's game's over the past three weeks, this one required a little late-innings work by the Indians, who have outscored their opponents 142-37 during this unimaginable run.
With one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Tyler Naquin singled to left off Herrera, who then got rookie Francisco Mejia to bounce into a force. But Lindor, the blossoming superstar shortstop who has been Cleveland's best hitter throughout the streak, came through with his double.
Cody Allen (3-6) worked the 10th and it wasn't routine as Brandon Moss led off with a shot to the wall that Naquin caught while pinned up to the bullpen fence.
On top of getting another win, the Indians also got top reliever Andrew Miller back.
The All-Star came in to a rousing ovation in the seventh, and gave up a pair of bloop singles around a strikeout before getting an inning-ending double play.
It was his first appearance since Aug. 21, when Miller's knee tendinitis flared up during an appearance against Boston and he went on the DL for the second time. The left-hander will be brought back slowly by the Indians, who want to make sure he's ready when the games become more meaningful in October.