The Indians are now proud owners of a 15-game winning streak after defeating the White Sox 11-2 in Chicago on Thursday evening. The offense jumped on White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey for seven runs in the first three innings and never looked back.
Four runs came in the first inning on an RBI double from Austin Jackson and a three-run home run from Edwin Encarnacion. After the White Sox got solo homers from Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu to cut the lead in half, the Indians got a run back in the second on Francisco Lindor‘s solo homer. In the third, Erik Gonzalez blasted a two-run shot to make it 7-2. Gonzalez added a sacrifice fly and Greg Allen hit a two-run homer in a three-run seventh. Gonzalez tacked on a solo homer in the ninth.
Meanwhile, Corey Kluber was excellent. He gave up just the two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out 13. He’s strengthening his case in the AL Cy Young Award race. The right-hander now has a 2.56 ERA with a 235/34 K/BB ratio in 175 2/3 innings.
Shawn Armstrong pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Kluber. Craig Breslow tossed a scoreless ninth to seal the deal.
The Indians’ 15-game winning streak is only the 23rd streak of at least that length dating back to 1913, according to Baseball Reference. The last team to win at least 15 in a row was the 2002-03 Giants, who won 15 straight from September 20, 2002 to April 7, 2003. Within one season, the 2002 Athletics have that honor. They won 20 straight between August 13 and September 4. The longest winning streak without a tie since 1913 is 21 by the 1935 Cubs (September 4-27). The 1916 New York Giants won 26 games without losing, but also had a tie in the 13th game of a 27-game span.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.