CLEVELAND -- For more than 100 years, American League teams have gone on winning streaks of varying lengths -- short ones, long ones, double-digit ones.
Nothing, though, like the one the Cleveland Indians have pieced together.
An early 1-0 deficit -- only the second time during the streak the opposition has scored first -- was quickly erased, and the Indians led the rest of the way Wednesday afternoon in a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The victory extended the Indians' streak to an American League record 21 games, surpassing the 2002 Oakland Athletics' 20 in a row.
Cleveland is now tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak of all time, trailing only the 26 in a row won by the 1916 New York Giants, whose streak included a tie in the middle.
"I think they're enjoying themselves. They should," Indians Manager Terry Francona said. "It's pretty special."
Francona was asked whether he thought the Giants' run should be the record since it includes a tie.
"I wasn't there," he said, drawing laughter. "I've given that zero thought."
In what was an oddity over the past 21 games, the Indians trailed in the first inning. With two on and two out, Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario doubled home a run. It was the first run scored against Mike Clevinger in his past four outings, Wednesday included.
That lead lasted about 18 minutes. With two on and two out in the bottom of the first, Jay Bruce belted a three-run home run to left field that just cleared the 19-foot wall. It gave the Indians a 3-1 lead, which meant they have trailed at the end of only four complete innings in 21 games.
After giving up the early run, Clevinger and the Indians dugout didn't flinch.
"I don't think there was a second that I doubted we were gonna score some runs or string together some hits," Clevinger said. "That thought never crossed my mind. I wasn't just wishing we were gonna score. It was, I kinda knew we were gonna score."
The Indians (90-56) never trailed again but had to work to protect their lead.
Jose Ramirez created a run in the third inning, driving a ball to the right-center gap and legging out a double by just beating JaCoby Jones' throw to second base. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a bloop single on which Ramirez was able to score, making it 4-1.
The Tigers drew to within one run in the sixth inning. Miguel Cabrera reached on an error by Yandy Diaz and Nick Castellanos followed with a double to make it 4-2. Andrew Romine singled with two outs to score Castellanos and end Clevinger's day. Nick Goody entered and escaped the inning.
Clevinger (10-5) lasted 5⅔ innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 6 strikeouts.
Roberto Perez added an insurance run in the seventh on a solo home run to center field.
The Tigers let out some frustration in the third inning, and it led to the ejection of catcher James McCann (Arkansas Razorbacks) and Manager Brad Ausmus. Bruce drew a walk, which prompted McCann to have some words with home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott.
McCann was quickly tossed, followed by Ausmus, who had to hold his catcher back. A few pitches later, catcher John Hicks, who replaced McCann, missed a pitch from Tigers starter Buck Farmer (4-3). The pitch struck Wolcott in the upper chest area. He was down for a few moments but remained in the game.
YANKEES 3, RAYS 2 A disappointed Jaime Garcia didn’t say a word to Manager Joe Girardi when he was removed one out shy of qualifying for his first victory with the Yankees, and New York beat Tampa Bay.
WHITE SOX 5, ROYALS 3 Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia drove in runs in the ninth inning as Chicago beat host Kansas City.
ORIOLES 2, BLUE JAYS 1 Adam Jones had two hits and an RBI, Kevin Gausman pitched seven strong innings and visiting Baltimore beat Toronto, snapping a six-game losing streak.
ATHLETICS 7, RED SOX 3 Matt Olson hit a two-run home run, Jed Lowrie drove in two runs and Oakland rebounded for a victory over AL East-leading host Boston.
MARINERS 8, RANGERS 1 Mike Zunino homered twice, Jean Segura also went deep and visiting Seattle won at Texas.
ANGELS 9, ASTROS 1 Host Los Angeles scored five runs in the first inning to beat Houston.
BRAVES 8, NATIONALS 2 Dansby Swanson smacked a bases-loaded, two-run single off Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the seventh inning, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam two batters later and Atlanta beat host Washington.
PHILLIES 8, MARLINS 1 Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins continued his record home run pace, connecting on his 17th in just his 33rd major league game, in the Phillies’ victory over visiting Miami.
CUBS 17, METS 5 Javier Baez homered and had four hits, Albert Almora Jr. also went deep and host Chicago routed New York.
BREWERS 8, PIRATES 2 Eric Thames hit his team-high 30th home run to help Milwaukee beat visiting Pittsburgh.
REDS 6, CARDINALS 0 Rookie Tyler Mahle threw five innings, Eugenio Suarez hit a grand slam and Cincinnati beat host St. Louis.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, ROCKIES 2 A.J. Pollock homered and drove in four runs as Arizona beat visiting Colorado.
TWINS 3, PADRES 1 (10) Eddie Rosario hit a two-run home run with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting host Minnesota to a victory over San Diego.
Longest winning streaks by sport:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
New York Giants 1916 26
New England Patriots 2003-2004 21
Los Angeles Lakers 1971-1972 33
Pittsburgh Penguins 1993 17
DIVISION I COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Oklahoma 1953-1957 47
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UCLA 1971-1974 88
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UConn 2014-2017 111
Richard Petty 1967 10
Byron Nelson 1945 11
Sports on 09/14/2017
Print Headline: No standing on 20