CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians have their chance at American League history when they take to the diamond against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field this afternoon.
Just hours after tying the Oakland Athletics for the most consecutive victories (20) since the beginning of the expansion era (1961 to present) with a 2-0 victory over the Tigers behind a complete game shutout performance against the Tigers Tuesday night, and they will go for No. 21 in the series finale with Detroit.
“We understand that we’re playing well, and we understand that there is a streak obviously alive, but it’s not something that’s consuming us at all,” outfielder Jay Bruce said. “We’re in a good position right now. We’re not done yet. We’re still trying to win games.
“I’ve said it a couple times in a row, a couple days in a row now. We’re trying to win today, and that’s really all we’re worried about. We’re not worried about what’s happened in the past. We’re not worried about what could be or what can happen. We’re just playing baseball and we’re playing good baseball. We have a good team, so that’s what happens when you have a group of guys that come in and prepare and are ready to go.”
The Indians will turn to right-handed starter Mike Clevinger against the Tigers. On the season, Clevinger has a 9-5 record with a 3.30 earned run average. However, Clevinger is 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA in home appearances.
Although Detroit’s Buck Farmer is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA on the road, he is 0-1 with three hits and five earned runs allowed in just three innings of work in his only start of the year against the Indians.
With Tuesday’s record-tying win over the Tigers (60-84), the Indians (89-56) reduced their “Magic Number” to clinch their second straight American League Central Division Championship and trip to the MLB Playoffs to five and maintained a 13.5-game lead over the Minnesota Twins.