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Indians pitching has fueled 18-game winning streak

Cleveland starters 16-0 with 1.94 ERA during streak.

Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians just keep winning. A 3-2 win win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday night was the 18th straight win for Cleveland, the reigning American League pennant winners who now own the best record in the AL in 2017.

During this amazing run for the Indians, and pretty much all season, starting pitching has been the driving force.

Trevor Bauer was the man on the mound on Sunday night for Cleveland, and he delivered by pitching into the seventh, striking out seven with no walks. The right-hander allowed just two runs on seven hits, the 16th time during the streak that an Indians starting pitcher allowed two or fewer runs.

Indians starting pitchers during their winning streak are 16-0 with a 1.94 ERA, with 112 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 111⅓ innings.

On the season, Cleveland starters are fourth in the majors — third in the American League -- with a 3.72 ERA, and their 940 strikeouts are 42 more than any other team in baseball (Boston Red Sox second, with 898).

Indians starters lead baseball in FIP (3.52), xFIP (3.47), strikeout-to-walk rate (3.97), and strikeout rate (27.4%), and are second in WHIP (1.183).

Not to be outdone, the Cleveland bullpen has been just as good if not better, even while missing injured fireman extraordinaire Andrew Miller. The Indians relief corps during the 18-game winning streak has a minuscule 1.42 ERA — including 2⅔ scoreless innings on Sunday night, retiring all eight batters they faced — with 51 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Cody Allen finished things off on Sunday by striking out two in the ninth inning for his 26th save. But there have been so many blowout wins for Cleveland, it was just his fifth save during the 18-game streak.

At 18 games, the Indians have their largest winning streak in franchise history, and the longest since the Oakland Athletics won 20 straight games in 2002 with Brad Pitt as general manager.

The 18-game streak is tied for the fifth-longest in MLB history, per Elias:

*Those 1916 Giants had a tie in the middle of their 26 straight wins, a 1-1 game suspended after eight innings. New York won 12 straight before that game, and 14 straight after it.

Cleveland will try to extend their winning streak even further on Monday night, when they continue their homestand with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, who have lost 25 of their last 34 games.