With at least a share of the AL record secure, Cleveland fans will now turn their attention to another incredible milestone: the Major League Baseball record for the longest winning streak, set by the 1916 New York Giants. They're the ones finding ways to wear the other team down, and digging deep to win when all seems lost. "I guess if they weren't streaking, they weren't interested". Jon Gray (7-4, 4.07) is up for Colorado and will be 10 days removed from a loss to Arizona in which he gave up three runs in five innings.
"Generally speaking, you don't bunt for one run against Kluber", manager Brad Ausmus said. "There's a lot stacked against us, we know that, but we're still in the fight". They're three core players, yet the Indians have found a way. "We just play the game".
Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3), and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start for Cleveland. He fell to 8-9 overall on the season, 2-4 with Baltimore. "We just couldn't get it done". They came back and beat us. Wins 18, 19 and 20 were all walk-off victories, with No. 20 the famous Scott Hatteberg pinch-hit home run after the A's had blown an 11-0 lead.
Juan Minaya (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory.
Roberto Perez hit a solo homer for Cleveland in the seventh inning. As in the debate over the single-season home run record, both sides have valid arguments.
"This is the record that I always wanted to see challenged", he said.
However, Joe Smith, Tyler Olson, Nick Goody and Allen combined to retire the next eight batters in a row to end the game. It's the AL record. The right-hander moved into a tie with Boston's Chris Sale for the league lead in wins and has won nine straight decisions.
In the second, a leadoff walk to Carlos Santana and back-to-back singles by Yandy Diaz and Yan Gomes opened the scoring.
Francisco Lindor led off the bottom of the first with a double into the right field corner. Even when they do manage reach base, the Indians usually leave them there. Zimmer will be examined by a hand specialist on Monday.
A near-capacity crowd of 29,346 paying customers turned out to watch the Indians get the better of the Detroit Tigers, 5-3.
Perhaps the scariest part for opponents will be Lindor's offensive resurgence, though, and that's one of the key factors that would propel a return trip to the Series, if not also a title that has eluded Cleveland since 1948. Orioles LHP Jayson Aquino, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk.