The Cleveland Indians can return to clinching their division and playoff preparations.
Their historic winning streak is, well, history.
Cleveland had its AL record run stopped at 22 straight games on Friday night as the Indians were beaten 4-3 by the Kansas City Royals, who became the first team to conquer the defending league champions since Aug. 23.
Jason Vargas (16-10) pitched into the sixth and Brandon Moss homered off Trevor Bauer (16-9) as the Royals, who were beaten five times by Cleveland over the past few weeks, ended baseball’s longest win streak in 101 years.
The Indians set a new league mark and came within four of matching the overall record held by the 1916 New York Giants, a 26-game string that included one tie.
Despite the loss, Cleveland’s magic number for clinching the AL Central dropped to two following Minnesota’s loss to Toronto.
Following a magical, walk-off win in extra innings on Thursday night, the Indians couldn’t muster another late rally.
When Francisco Lindor struck out with a runner on first to end it, the sellout crowd of 34,025 gave the Indians a prolonged standing ovation. Manager Terry Francona brought Cleveland’s players out of the dugout to salute their fans, whose cheering grew louder and louder.
This was something they’ll likely never see again in their lifetimes and both the Indians and their fans wanted to savor every second of an accomplishment while looking forward to October, when the games become more meaningful.
“They’ve been so supportive,” Francona said of the crowd. “The atmosphere around here is incredible and I think our players wanted to show their…
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