2:49 p.m.-CLEVELAND INDIANS WIN 100TH GAME OF 2017 SEASON
CLEVELAND -- For just the third time in franchise history, the Cleveland Indians have won 100 games in a season.
Behind a standout performance from starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco and two-run home runs from center fielder Jason Kipnis and catcher Roberto Perez, the Indians (100-59) earned a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins (83-76) at Progressive Field Thursday.
The Indians won 100 games in 1995 and a franchise-record 111 in 1954. In both of those seasons, the Indians went on to win the American League pennant.
On the way to his 18th win of the season, which drew him into a tie with Corey Kluber for the team lead, Carrasco scattered six hits and one walk over 8.1 innings of work, and struck out a season-high 14 Twins hitters. It was Carrasco’s fifth double-digit strikeout performance of the season and 15th of his Major League career.
2:09 p.m.-INDIANS DOUBLE THEIR LEAD OVER TWINS
CLEVELAND -- The home run ball continued to be good to the Cleveland Indians against the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Indians doubled their lead to 4-0 when catcher Roberto Perez took a pitch from Twins reliever Alan Busenitz just over the wall in right field for his eighth home run of the season. Perez’s blast drove in reserve outfielder Greg Allen, who reached on a one-out bunt single down the third-base line.
1:39 p.m.-JASON KIPNIS BELTS TWO-RUN HOMER TO PUT INDIANS IN FRONT
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians struggled to string together hits and could not push across a run against Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana, but when he exited the game after five innings, the two-time defending American League Central Division champions went to work in front of the home fans at Progressive Field.
By fouling off two pitches after getting down in the count, 1-2, against Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger, Lindor kept the leadoff at-bat alive and went on to hit a sinking fastball to the wall in left-center field for a double.
Initially, Lindor took a wide turn around first base and had to find another gear before making it safely to second base. Lindor went for a late slide and stopped both suddenly and awkwardly on second base. However, after taking a few moments to gather himself, Lindor remained in the game.
With Lindor in scoring position, center fielder Jason Kipnis turned on a 2-1 pitch and rocketed the ball into the seats in right field for a two-run home run. The 366-foot blast was Kipnis’ 12th of the season and gave the Indians a 2-0 lead over the Twins.
1:02 p.m.-CARRASCO SAILS THROUGH FIRST FOUR INNINGS
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco sailed through the first four innings of his final regular-season start against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field.
Through four innings, Carrasco allowed one walk and two hits, but struck out four batters and located the strike zone with 36 of his 50 pitches.
In the first inning, Carrasco allowed a two-out walk to shortstop Jorge Polanco, and despite letting the runner advance to second base on a wild pitch, he gathered himself and struck out first baseman Kennys Vargas swinging to end the frame.
After a leadoff single from right fielder Max Kepler in the top of the second inning, Carrasco got designated hitter Robbie Grossman to ground into a fielder’s choice, and then, registered back-to-back swinging strikeouts from catcher Jason Castro and left fielder Mitch Garver.
The Twins got a two-out hit from third baseman Ehire Adrianza, but Carrasco got Polanco grounded out to Carlos Santana at first base to end the threat.
Then, in the fourth inning, Carrasco set down the Twins, 1-2-3, with groundouts to shortstop, third base and the pitcher’s mound, respectively.
12:45 p.m.-INDIANS RUN THEIR WAY OUT OF SECOND INNING
CLEVELAND -- Two of the Cleveland Indians’ first three hitters reached safely on singles to left and right field, respectively, but a base-running error ended the bottom of the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field.
On second base after a single to left field and Carlos Santana’s base hit to right, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion tried to advance on an Ervin Santana pitch that caromed away from Minnesota catcher Jason Castro, but an initial hesitation cost him as he was thrown out at third base for the final out of the inning.
11:50 a.m.-CLEVELAND INDIANS GO FOR WIN NO. 100
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of something they have done only twice in their 118-year history, and that is winning 100 games in a single season.
The Indian (99-59) have a chance to reach the century mark for wins today in a day game against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field, in what could be a preview of an American League Division Series matchup, as Minnesota currently holds the second Wildcard playoff spot.
On their way to win No. 99, the Indians got steady run production in multiple innings, and coupled with a standout performance from the pitching staff, fought their way to a 4-2 victory over the Twins (83-75) Wednesday night.
With the win, the Indians reduced their “Magic Number” to clinch the top record in the American League down to four with four games remaining in the regular season, the series finale against the Twins today, and then, a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field.
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