Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Kansas City Royals stop Cleveland’s record AL run at 22 games

Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, left, slides safely into second base for a steal as Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield is late with the tag in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Cleveland.

David Dermer/AP

The Cleveland Indians can return to clinching their division and playoff preparations.

Their historic winning streak is, well, history.

Cleveland had its AL record run stopped at 22 straight games on Friday night as the Indians were beaten 4-3 by the Kansas City Royals, who became the first team to conquer the defending league champions since Aug. 23.

Story continues below advertisement

Jason Vargas (16-10) pitched into the sixth and Brandon Moss homered off Trevor Bauer (16-9) as the Royals ended baseball's longest win streak in 101 years. The Indians set a new league mark and came within four of matching the overall record held by the 1916 New York Giants.

Following a magical, walk-off win in extra innings on Thursday night, the Indians couldn't muster another late rally and fell for the first time in more than three weeks.

When Francisco Lindor struck out with a runner on first to end it, the sellout crowd gave the Indians a prolonged standing ovation. Manager Terry Francona brought Cleveland's players out of the dugout to salute their fans, whose ovation grew louder and louder.

This was something they'll likely never see again in their lifetimes and both the Indians and their fans wanted to savour every second of an accomplishment while looking forward to October, when the games become more meaningful.

The Indians not only broke the previous record held by the 2002 "Moneyball" Oakland Athletics, but they served notice that they're the team to beat in the post-season as they attempt to get back to the World Series and perhaps end their 68-year title drought after the Chicago Cubs halted their 108-year drought at Cleveland's expense in 2016.

With one last chance in the ninth, the Indians put the tying run on base before Royals reliever Mike Minor struck out the side for his first pro save, fanning Francisco Lindor on a pitch in the dirt for the final out.

It was Lindor on Thursday night who had prolonged the streak with a two-out, two-strike RBI double in the ninth inning before Jay Bruce doubled home the winning run in the 10th to give Cleveland win No. 22.

Story continues below advertisement

That touched off a wild celebration, which shook Progressive Field and gave Cleveland fans a chance to get ready for bigger games to come.

The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees is taking another twist with each team accusing the other of using technology to steal signs during games. Reuters
Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.