The Cleveland Indians have been baseball’s hottest team for the better part of a month, and on Saturday clinched their second straight American League Central division title.
Cleveland made headlines by winning an American League-record 22 consecutive games, a streak that was snapped on Friday night. But with their 8-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon, coupled with the Minnesota Twins’ 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night, the Indians captured their ninth AL Central crown.
Cleveland Indians— AL Central champs! (@Indians) September 17, 2017
└ 2017 season
└ AL Central
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The Indians clinched a playoff berth with their win on Thursday night.
The reigning AL pennant winners on Saturday got three hits and a walk from Francisco Lindor, including his 40th double. Lindor, just 23, is the fifth shortstop in major league history with 40 doubles and 30 home runs in the same season, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (1991), Alex Rodriguez (1996), Nomar Garciaparra (1997) and Miguel Tejada (2004).
Edwin Encarnacion added his team-leading 35th home run for Cleveland in the win.
At 92-57, the Indians have a 1½-game advantage over the Houston Astros (90-58) for the best record in the American League and potential home field advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs.