The Cleveland Indians saw their American League-record winning streak come to an end at 22 games Friday night, as the Kansas City Royals hung on to defeat the AL Central leaders by the final score of 4-3 at Jacobs Field.
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) September 16, 2017
The deciding run was scored in the top of the sixth inning, as a Lorenzo Cain single drove in Alex Gordon and gave Kansas City a one-run lead. Left-hander Mike Minor picked up the save, working a scoreless bottom half of the ninth inning after allowing a leadoff single to third baseman Yandy Diaz. Minor struck out Yan Gomes, pinch hitter Francisco Mejia and shortstop Francisco Lindor in order to end the game.
Jason Vargas picked up the win for the Royals, as he allowed three runs on five hits over the course of five innings. Vargas pitched to one batter in the bottom of the sixth inning before being replaced by Ryan Buchter, who would retire the next three Indians batters in order.
Cleveland’s most recent defeat prior to Friday occurred on Aug. 23, and since then Terry Francona’s team was dominant on most nights. Prior to Thursday’s walk-off win over the Royals, Cleveland had not trailed entering the ninth inning of a game at any point in the streak. While Cleveland fell four games short of the major league record for longest win streak in a season, the team is still well-positioned to win the AL Central for a second consecutive season.
Cleveland began the night with a magic number of three, meaning that the team can clinch the division crown this weekend.