(Reuters) – The Cleveland Indians’ 22-game winning streak came to an end on Friday when they were beaten 4-3 by the Kansas City Royals.
One night after securing the longest winning run in Major League Baseball (MLB) in more than a century, the Indians finally ran out of steam in front of a sellout home crowd in Cleveland.
Only the 1916 New York Giants (26) had a longer run of success though their remarkable stretch, which is recognized by the MLB as the longest in major league history, included a tie.
Despite falling short of the all-time record, the streak vaulted the Indians to the best record in the American League, 91-57.
With less than three weeks until the postseason, Cleveland is now set for another tilt at the World Series after losing the decisive seventh game to the Chicago Cubs in extra innings last year.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said he hoped the streak, during which the Indians outscored their opponents by 105 runs, was just a taste of things to come.
“Where do we go from here? It’s up,” he told reporters.
”It was a lot of fun. Common sense said you’re going to lose a game.
“I don’t think anything’s over. To me, this is kind of a jumping off point. We need to move on because there’s a game tomorrow and we need to be ready.”
Dominican slugger Jose Ramirez was in hot form throughout the streak. In the 19 games he played he had a .413 batting average and smashed nine home runs, including one on Friday.
Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor had saved the day on Thursday with a double in the bottom of the ninth but could not produce a similar feat on Friday, striking out to end the game.
Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer took the loss after giving up nine hits and four runs in 5.1 innings.
“He wasn’t quite as crisp as he had been,” said Francona.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford