CLEVELAND -- At one point in July, the Cleveland Indians were coming off of a 1-5 road trip against the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants out of the break for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, but two months later, they have become the most dominant team in baseball.
Since the west-coast slump, the Indians have posted an American League-record 22-game winning streak, surpassed the Houston Astros for the best record in the AL and clinched their second consecutive Central Division Championship, a first for the team since the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at how the Indians have surged to the top of the American League standings and won 25 of their last 26 games:
This time around, the Indians started out their west-coast trip on a positive note.
After going just 1-5 against the Bay Area teams in July, the Indians returned to the west coast in need of a win to remain in the hunt for the best record in the American League, and they got a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels at Angels Stadium Tuesday night.
Currently, the Indians are 49-27 away from Progressive Field this season and hold a 1.5-game lead over the Astros in the race for the AL’s best record. The Indians trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers (96-55) for the best record in all of baseball.
Including Tuesday’s win, the Indians are on a 12-game road winning streak, which matches the franchise record set in 1922 (July 8-21).
Additionally, the 12th straight road win gave the Indians 94 victories on the regular season, which matched their total from a season ago, when they won the Central Division Championship and returned to the World Series for the first time in 19 years.
Indians infielder Jose Ramirez struggled his way through the month of August, batting just .235 with 24 hits in 102 at-bats and 14 runs scored, but the American League’s starting All-Star third baseman has again found his groove at the plate.
Despite battling wrist issues that forced Indians manager Terry Francona to give him some rest days recently, Ramirez is hitting with .429 with 21 hits in 49 plate appearances, including seven doubles, seven home runs, one triple, 13 runs scored and 13 RBI in 13 September games.
In early August, the Indians made a deal to acquire right fielder Jay Bruce from the New York Mets, and that has proven to be a critical move for a team that experienced depth issues in the outfield with injuries to Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley right before and after the All-Star break, respectively.
The Indians are 34-6 since Bruce joined the team, and he has found some individual success as well.
Bruce is hitting .261 with 15 of his 29 hits going for extra bases (eight doubles, two triples, five home runs) with 18 runs scored, 20 RBI and 13 walks.
Indians ace pitcher Corey Kluber is 4-0 with a 0.87 earned run average in four September starts. Over 31.0 innings of work, Kluber has scattered 19 hits, allowed only three earned runs and two home runs, and has a 37-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio in September.
Opposing batters are hitting just .174 against him in his four September outings.