CLEVELAND-- For just the third time in club history, the Indians have won 100 games.
The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins wrapped up their regular season series on Thursday in front of 21,810 fans at Progressive Field.
The Indians came away with a 5-2 win. While there is a chance that these two teams could face off in the postseason, the Tribe won the regular season series against Minnesota, 12-7.
Carlos Carrasco picked up his 18th win of the year for Cleveland.
Before the Chicago White Sox come into town tomorrow for the final regular season series of the year, here are our three takeaways from Thursday's day game.
1. Cookie counter
Carlos Carrasco had another dominant outing in his last regular season start of 2017.
Cookie went eight and one-third innings, giving up just six hits, one walk and no runs, while striking out a season-high 14 batters. All afternoon he did a great job of getting the Twins to chase low pitches out of the zone:
Thursday marked Carrasco's fifth double-digit strikeout game of the year, and the 15th of his career. He now ends the 2017 season with 226 strikeouts, a career high. Carrasco and Corey Kluber are just the second Indians duo to reach 220 strikeouts in a single season.
Carrasco also ends the year with a 1.94 ERA against intradivisional opponents, the lowest by an Indians pitcher since realignment of the division in 1994.
By recording the first out in the ninth inning, Carrasco also reached the 200 inning mark for the first time in his career, and also talked about being able to pitch in the postseason for the first time.
“I’m happy to get it with the way that I pitched this year, and I think all the hard work paid off,” Carrasco said. “It’s gonna be the same game, more people. But nothing is different. It’s the same baseball. The same way that I did it in the regular season, it’s going to be the same in the playoffs too.”
2. Three of a kind
The game was tied at 0-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning.
That's when Jason Kipnis hit a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall to score himself and Francisco Lindor, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead. It was his first homer since Aug. 18 when he hit one against Kansas City.
Per The Athletic's T.J. Zuppe, Kipnis is now 7-for-24 (.292) with two doubles, a homer, five RBIs, two runs scored and one walk since his return to the Indians' lineup on Sept. 17. He has also hit safely in the last five games.
“When you’ve got a bunch of things on your plate, when you’re trying to get your hamstring healthy, you’re trying to learn a new position and find your swing, it’s nice to be able to more or less check one of them off,” Kipnis said. “It’s not that I’m going to be hot going into the playoffs, but just that I’m where I want to be and able to compete.”
In the seventh inning, Roberto Perez hit a two-run homer of his own on a 95 mph four-seam fastball. It was Perez's eighth homer of the 2017 season, seven of which have come on Aug. 21 or later.
Jay Bruce wrapped things up, hitting his 35th homer of the year and sixth as a Cleveland Indian in the eighth inning to give the Tribe a 5-0 lead.
The Indians reached the 100-win mark for the third time in franchise history (1954, 111 wins; 1995 100 wins).
With the win, the team matches the regular-season record for wins by an AL Central team. The record was, of course, set by the 1995 Indians.
While it's clearly an accomplishment, the team is obviously focused on larger goals.
"We need to keep winning because Houston is," Francona said after the win. "And I'm not downplaying it because it's really cool, I'm proud of our guys. It's meaningful ... and we have hopefully a lot more baseball ahead of us. But I think it's OK to take a minute and be proud of what the guys have done."
“It’s something special, for all of us it’s a big accomplishment," Lindor said. "But, we all understand that that’s not our goal. Our goal is to make it to the playoffs, and then once we’re in the playoffs its go as deep as we can into the playoffs. … It’s something amazing, special that will be there for a very long time but we’re just enjoying it and focusing on our daily job, which is trying to win.”