The Cleveland Indians had the perfect guy on the mound on Tuesday night to tie the American League record, and it went exactly as planned for the defending American League champs. Ace Corey Kluber threw a four-hitter in a complete game effort, as The Tribe shut out the Detroit Tigers 2-0 for their 20th straight victory. The win streak ties the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the longest in American League history, as they became the fourth team since 1900 to win at least 20 in a row. The 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 in a row, and the 1916 New York Giants hold the baseball record at 26 straight. Kluber struck out eight in his 16th victory of the season for Cleveland, who has not lost a game since August 23rd. The sensational outing was the Cy Young candidate's fifth complete game and third shutout of the season. lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.45 and improved him to 8-1 in his past nine starts. He was supported at the plate by a leadoff home run off the bat of Francisco Lindor, as well as a wild pitch that scored Carlos Santana in the sixth to add insurance. Lindor's homer made him the first shortstop in franchise history to hit 30 long balls in a season. The AL Central leaders now have a magic number of five for another division title, and can tie the Cubs' 1935 streak in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.
Twins Cruise Past Padres in Historic Fashion
After looking like sellers at the trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins have been on fire to hang on to the second Wild Card spot in the American League. They remained red hot in historic fashion on Tuesday night, shutting out the San Diego Padres, 16-0, at Target Field. Minnesota became the first team in baseball history to have at least one home run in each of the first seven innings of the game. Jason Castro went deep twice on the night, while Brian Dozier fell a double shy of the cycle, and added another leadoff home run in the first inning. Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Kennys Vargas, and Eduardo Escobar also left the ballpark on the night, supporting starter Kyle Gibson in his 10th win of the season. Gibson lasted six innings and allowed four hits while striking out six. Travis Wood struggled for San Diego, as he was charged with nine runs allowed in just 2.1 innings in what was his sixth defeat. Dozier's leadoff blast off of Wood was his 30th long ball of the season, as he became the first second baseman since Dan Uggla from 2007-2011 to hit 30 home runs in consecutive seasons. The Twins were 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot at the beginning of August, but have since averaged 6.15 runs per game to jump back in to the playoff spot. They will play host to the lowly Padres again on Wednesday night.
Dodgers Top Giants to Snap Losing Streak
The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally got back on the winning track, as they snapped their 11-game losing streak on Tuesday night by simply turning to their ace. Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 over six innings to lead the Dodgers to their first win in nearly two weeks, 5-3 over the San Francisco Giants. The NL West leaders also clinched a playoff berth with the victory, as they put an end to their longest losing streak since moving from Brooklyn. It was the franchise's longest skid in the past 25 years, although, the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers' 16-game losing streak is the franchise record. The win was the 17th of the year for Kershaw and Kenley Jansen recorded four outs for his 37th save, as Los Angeles joined the Washington Nationals as the only teams to clinch postseason berths. Those two teams will do battle in our nation's capital this weekend. Chase Utley went deep in the fourth inning, while Justin Turner doubled home an insurance run in the eighth to lead the Dodgers at the plate. Their first win since September 1st over the San Diego Padres puts them 4.5 games ahead of the Nationals for the league's best record. They will finish off their series with the last place Giants on Wednesday night.