ANAHEIM (AP) — Shortstop Francisco Lindor homered to lead the Indians to a 4-1 victory and three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, Cleveland’s 27th win in its last 28 games.
The record for most victories with only one loss is 29, set by the 1884 Providence Grays.
After hitting a two-run homer Wednesday night, Lindor came back with a game-winning, three-run homer in the fifth Thursday afternoon off Parker Bridwell (8-3) to break up a 1-1 game. It was his 32nd home run.
The victory was Cleveland’s 11th straight over the Angels, who have lost four of their last five overall in a struggling effort to overtake the Minnesota Twins for the final AL wild-card berth.
The Indians started right-hander Danny Salazar on Thursday, largely in an effort to see if he can be a viable postseason reliever. He went 2 2/3 innings, allowing the one run, two hits and three walks.
The victory went to Zack McAllister (2-2) who threw 1 1/3 innings of relief. Tyler Olson threw a scoreless ninth for his first career save.
The Angels took their only lead against the Indians this season in the first when Mike Trout walked and scored on a double by Albert Pujols.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 37th home run to lead off the second and tie it.
The victory left the Indians one game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for best overall record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Angels had their best comeback chance when they loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an infield hit against reliever Andrew Miller in the seventh. Miller struck out C.J. Cron and Martin Maldonado to end the threat.
Indians: 2B Jose Ramirez was given the day off. Manager Terry Francona wanted to rest one of his middle infielders and Ramirez has been nursing a sore hamstring. . Francona said OF Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) would have joined the team in Seattle on Friday if he was ready to start, but will continue rehabbing in Cleveland.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulder) is still playing catch, but his return to the mound remains undetermined. He last started Sept. 9 but went only 2 1/3 innings. . 3B Yunel Escobar (oblique) is scheduled to begin facing live hitting at the team’s training complex in Arizona on Monday.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (16-9, 4.41 ERA), who remarkably had suffered Cleveland’s only loss in its last 28 games, is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game series in Seattle. He is 8-1 with a 2.63 ERA in his last 11 games.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (0-2, 2.00) will look to win his first game in his fifth start of the season in the opener of a three-game series in Houston. In 13 games (10 starts) against the Astros he is 5-4 with a 3.58 ERA.
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