Indians' Epic 22-Game Win Streak Ends in Loss to Royals
The Indians' run at history officially came to an end on Friday. The Royals shut down Cleveland's 22-game win streak by defeating the Indians, 4-3, a night after the Tribe rescued its streak with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning. It's the team's first loss since Aug. 23.
One of the most gripping storylines of the season, the Indians' stretch of consecutive wins lasted longer than all but one win streak in baseball history. Only the 1916 Giants' stretch of 26 straight wins stands ahead of Cleveland, but a mid-streak tie has caused some to wonder if the Indians should claim ownership of the longest-ever win streak.
Just like they had in 19 of their previous 22 games, the Indians scored first Friday. Edwin Encarnacion's sacrifice fly put Cleveland up by one run in the first inning before Alcides Escobar tied it in the follow half-inning with a solo home run. Jose Ramirez hit a two-run big fly to stake the Indians to a 3-1 advantage, but the Royals stormed back for runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take the lead for good.
Francisco Lindor had another chance to be the hero with the tying run on first and two outs in the ninth inning. There would be no miracle two-strike double on this night, though. He struck out on a pitch in the dirt to officially seal the end to Cleveland's 22-game win streak. As a sellout crowd gave the team a standing ovation after the loss, Indians players came onto the field to applaud the crowd.
There's still a treasure trove of facts that surfaced during Cleveland's remarkable run of success. What's more, the Indians catapulted the Astros for the best record in the American League and are likely going to have home field advantage for at least two rounds of the postseason.
Despite having to let go of an unforgettable time in franchise history, the Indians have a bigger mountain still to climb. The team's 69-year championship drought is the longest in Major League Baseball. Cleveland would only need half of its 22-game win streak to win a title next month.