CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are in the midst of a 19-game winning streak and with a chance to tie the expansion-era record for the most consecutive wins (20), they are turning to their ace, right-hander Corey Kluber, in the second of a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.
The Indians are going for the tie of the Oakland Athletics’ mark of 20 straight wins, which they set in the 2002 season. The expansion era includes all seasons from 1961 to present day.
In his last outing, Kluber led the Indians to an 11-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago last Friday night.
Despite giving up two home runs in the first three hitters, Kluber settled into quite the rhythm and allowed only one hit the rest of the way. He registered 13 strikeouts over seven innings of work, and has had at least seven strikeouts in 18 of his last 19 games.
Although Kluber missed almost the entire month of May because of back issues, he has a 15-4 record and 2.56 earned run average with 235 strikeouts against just 34 walks over 175.2 innings on the season.
“One game at a time,” Kluber said after his last start. “It sounds boring, but I think that’s what we’re doing, coming to the field every day and trying to prepare to win that day’s ballgame. Yesterday doesn’t really mean anything.
“It sounds boring, but we just take it one day at a time, one game at a time and try to win that day’s game. If we’re able to take that approach and play the game the right way, not that it’s always going to result in a 15-game winning streak, but I think more often than not, things will turn in your favor.”
On the way to their 19th straight win, the Indians (88-56) pounded out 11 hits and pushed across 11 runs, including seven over the first four innings of play, and along with another solid start from pitcher Carlos Carrasco, rode that momentum to an 11-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field Monday night.
With the victory over the Tigers (60-83), the Indians reduced their “Magic Number” to clinch their second straight American League Central Division Championship and trip to the MLB Playoffs to six and pushed their lead over the Minnesota Twins in the standings to 13.5 games.
“We have the experience of last postseason to fall back on, but at the same time, it’s a different set of circumstances,” Kluber said. “We’ve got different guys on our roster, a couple guys that are hurt right now that are trying to get their way back, that were a part of our team last year, and hopefully, they can be again before we make it to the postseason. The one constant is playing good baseball and doing the little things that add up to wins.”
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