CLEVELAND (AP) — When reality set in, the ovation steadily grew as the Cleveland Indians emerged from their dugout.
With the scoreboard showing a loss and the Kansas City Royals shaking hands and high-fiving each other nearby, the Indians tipped their caps to salute fans who came hoping to see more late-inning magic and a record streak continue.
Cleveland’s historic run is over.
The Indians, who captured America’s attention during a dominating three-week run, had their AL-record winning streak stopped at 22 straight on Friday night with a 4-3 loss to the 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.
But when it ended, there was a celebration as a crowd of 34,025 fans saluted a team that took them on an improbable ride they are unlikely to see again in their lifetimes.
“They’ve been so supportive,” said Indians manager Terry Francona, who led his team out of the dugout to return the love to the crowd. “The atmosphere around here is incredible and I think our players wanted to show their appreciation. It’s by no means the last game of the year or anything like that, it’s just been pretty incredible how they’ve reacted and we just wanted to show our appreciation because we don’t take it for granted.
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