4:10 p.m.-INDIANS CLOSE OUT WEEKEND SERIES WITH WIN OVER ROYALS
CLEVELAND -- There was no championship hangover for the Cleveland Indians when they took on the Kansas City Royals in the finale of their four-game at Progressive Field Sunday afternoon.
Less than 24 hours after clinching the American League Central Division Championship for the second straight year when the Minnesota Twins lost to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday night, the Indians wanted to celebrate in style, and to do that, they had to win, and win they did.
Behind a strong outing from starting pitcher Corey Kluber and timely hitting in the middle of the game, the Indians (93-57) defeated the Royals (73-76), 3-2, in front of the 12th sellout crowd of the season at Progressive Field.
The 12th regular-season sellout marked the most for the Indians since the 2001 season.
3:45 p.m.-SHAW GIVES UP TWO AS ROYALS CHIP AWAY
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians reliever Bryan Shaw allowed two runs in the top of the eighth inning, and the Kansas City Royals cut the deficit down to a single run, 3-2, after 7.5 innings of play at Progressive Field Sunday.
Shaw allowed back-to-back one-out singles to second baseman Whit Merrifield and right fielder Melky Cabrera, and infielder Eric Hosmer moved the runners over to third and second, respectively, with a groundout to the mound.
Then, former Indians slugger Brandon Moss slapped a single into center field that drove in both Merrifield and Cabrera.
3:20 p.m.-INDIANS ADD ON INSURANCE RUN
CLEVELAND -- After Corey Kluber worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning, the Cleveland Indians added an insurance run in the bottom of the frame when infielder Giovanny Urshela drove in center fielder Greg Allen with an RBI fielder’s choice to shortstop.
Allen was hit by a 3-1 pitch from Peter Moylan with one out in the seventh inning.
The Indians held a 3-0 lead over the Royals after seven innings of play.
2:13 p.m.-ENCARNACION BELTS 2-RUN HOMER
CLEVELAND -- Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion smashed a two-run home run into the seats over the 19-foot wall in left field and gave the Cleveland Indians a 2-0 lead over the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the fourth inning at Progressive Field.
On a 2-1 pitch from Royals starter Danny Duffy, Encarnacion dropped the barrel of the bat on the ball and drove the offering an estimated 415 feet for his team-leading 36th home run of the season. Encarnacion leads the Indians in home runs (36) and runs batted in (94) this season, his first in Cleveland after eight with the Toronto Blue Jays.
1:30 p.m.-INDIANS (ALMOST) TAKE THE LEAD
CLEVELAND -- Shortstop Francisco Lindor appeared to put the Cleveland Indians in front of the Kansas City Royals, 1-0, with a lead-off solo home run to the porch in left field in the bottom of the first inning, but that proved not to be the case.
After Lindor rounded the bases and received congratulations from his teammates in the dugout, a crew chief review overturned the call and took the run off the board. Subsequently, Lindor grounded out to Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy for the first out of the frame, and the Indians went in order in their first trip to the plate.
1:00 p.m.-GAME INFORMATION
CLEVELAND -- The newly crowned American League Central Division Champion Cleveland Indians return to the field today to finish off a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field before celebrating their second straight divisional title.
Coupled with an 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field earlier in the day and the Toronto Blue Jays’ 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field Saturday night, the Indians earned their second straight division championship, a first for the team since the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
The Indians have won nine AL Central titles since the division was founded when Major League Baseball switched to the six-division format during the 1994 season. No other team in the division, which includes the Chicago White Sox, Twins, Detroit Tigers and Royals, have won more championships than the Indians.
Currently, at 92-57, the Indians hold the best record in the American League and second-best mark in all of baseball. The Indians lead the Astros (90-58) by three games in the race for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage through at least the first two rounds of the postseason.
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