The Indians’ double-digit win streak may be fundamentally unsustainable, but at least on Saturday, they showed no signs of slowing down. A solid performance from Josh Tomlin and a four-run effort from the offense gave them all the ammo they needed to take their 17th consecutive win.
Tomlin surrendered an early lead to the Orioles, who got on the board in the first inning with Trey Mancini‘s RBI single. By the fourth inning, however, it was clear who was in charge. Tomlin settled down to deliver four scoreless innings while Jay Bruce piggybacked on Giovanny Urshela‘s third-inning RBI double, plating Carlos Santana on a line drive to right field.
In the fifth, Santana returned with his 35th double of the season, lifting the Indians to a 3-1 lead that was cut back to 3-2 after Tim Beckham‘s 410-foot solo shot in the sixth. If the Indians ever doubted their ability to pull off another win, however, they didn’t show it. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona cycled through five relievers to keep the Orioles at bay, and Francisco Lindor turned in his 28th blast of the year to boost the club to a two-run lead in the seventh.
With the win, the Indians need just three more victories to tie the A’s 20-win streak in 2002. Only five teams have tied or bested their 17-win single-season run in MLB history, including the 1916 Giants (26, including a mid-streak tie), 1935 Cubs (21), 1947 Yankees (19), 1953 Yankees (18), and 2002 Athletics (20). They’ll go for the sweep — and their 18th win — with right-hander Trevor Bauer during Sunday’s finale at 8:05 ET.