Indians pound Tigers for 19th consecutive victory
CLEVELAND -- The Streak is still alive. Resoundingly so.
Jose Ramirez homered and had three RBIs, Francisco Lindor tripled and drove in four runs, and Carlos Carrasco pitched six scoreless innings as the Cleveland Indians won their 19th game in a row, an 11-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night at Progressive Field.
The 19-game winning streak ties the Indians with the 1906 Chicago White Sox and the 1947 New York Yankees for the fourth-longest run in the major leagues since 1900, according to STATS. The 1916 New York Giants won 26 straight, the 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 in a row, and the 2002 Oakland A’s had a 20-game winning streak.
Lindor’s three-run triple in the second inning and Ramirez’s two-run homer in the fourth provided the bulk of the offense for the Indians, who have outscored opponents 132-32 during their streak.
Cleveland pitchers have six shutouts in that span and a major-league-leading 18 for the season. That is the most shutouts in a season by Indians pitchers since 1968, when they had 23.
Outscoring their opponents by 100 runs over 19 games is an eye-catcher, but Indians manager Terry Francona didn’t bite when asked if he was surprised by how emphatic most of his team’s wins have been.
“I get it, I just don’t feel like going there, because it sends the wrong message,” he said. “Our message has been consistent. Show up and try to outplay them today. We try to stay in the moment. Play the game at hand, then turn the page, because there’s another game tomorrow. I really feel that’s the best way to do it.”
All-Star shortstop Lindor agrees.
“I‘m not surprised by the streak, but we don’t pay that much attention to it,” Lindor said. “We’re just enjoying the ride. But today is over. Now we focus on tomorrow.”
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said the Indians might be the best team in the majors.
“Their starting pitching, their bullpen, they are athletic, their lineup, with all those switch hitters, and they’ve still got some important guys down with injuries,” Ausmus said. “They’re extremely well balanced. But the pitching is probably the biggest piece. They are a very good team.”
During the winning streak, Indians starting pitchers are 17-0 with a 1.84 ERA.
Carrasco (15-6) allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out nine. Danny Salazar tossed two innings, and Zach McAllister pitched the ninth to close out the win.
“We’re playing hard, pitching good and making the plays we’re supposed to make. Everything is coming together,” said Carrasco, who is 3-0 with a 0.62 ERA in four starts during the streak.
“He throws 95 (mph) with a tremendous power changeup he throws 87 to 90. That’s amazing,” Ausmus said.
Tigers rookie Myles Jaye (1-1), in his first major league start, took the bulk of the punishment, as the Indians reached him for seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“You’re talking about a kid who started the year at Double-A,” Ausmus said. “To ask him to go against the defending American League champions, that’s a tall task.”
The Indians, who have scored first in 18 of the 19 games in their winning streak, scored first in this one.
In the second inning, Carlos Santana led off with a walk and went to second on a single to left by Yandy Diaz. Yan Gomes followed with a single to center, scoring Santana with the first run. A bunt single by Greg Allen loaded the bases with no outs.
Lindor then drove a triple into the gap in right-center field, scoring all three runners and giving Cleveland a 4-0 lead. One out later, Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.
The assault continued in the fourth inning, when Ramirez belted a two-run home run into the seats in right field for his 26th home run, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead, and the rout was on.
NOTES: Indians 2B Jose Ramirez was removed from the game in the sixth inning for precautionary reasons with a bruised left forearm. ... Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer will undergo season-ending ulnar nerve transposition surgery in his right elbow on Tuesday. Fulmer, who was 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA in 25 starts this season, is expected to be fully recovered from the surgery by the start of spring training. ... The Tigers have purchased the contract of OF Tyler Collins from Triple-A Toledo, and they gave RHP Arcenio Leon his unconditional release. ... Indians manager Terry Francona said he is considering 2B Jason Kipnis as a possible replacement for Bradley Zimmer in center field. Zimmer broke a bone in his left hand on Sunday, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. ... Cleveland LHP Andrew Miller (right knee tendinitis) threw a simulated game Monday afternoon, and he could be activated off the disabled list this week.