Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cory Kluber Goes Distance In Indians' 20th Straight; Paul DeJong Helps Cardinals To 4th Straight Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

American League
Kluber: 2-hit shutout

It was fitting that Cleveland's ace, Corey Kluber, would be on the mound when the Indians tied the American League record for consecutive wins.

Kluber tossed a five-hit shutout over the visiting Tigers, blanking Detroit for a 2-0 win, tying the 2002 Oakland A's of "Moneyball" fame.

Francisco Lindor led off the first inning with his 30th home run, staking Kluber to a 1-0 advantage and tacked on another run in the sixth when Carlos Santana scored off a wild pitch. Kluber fanned eight and didn't issue a walk, improving his record to 16-4, tying teammate Trevor Bauer and Boston's Chris Sale at the top of the AL win chart. Kluber's 2.44 ERA also leads the league, as does his incredible 0.87 WHIP. His 16-4 record is at 80 percent (.800), tops in the league. Boston's Drew Pomeranz is closest, at 15-5, or .750.

The win put the Indians one step closer to history and to clinching the AL Central. With 17 games left on their schedule and a 13 1/2 game lead on the Twins, Cleveland's magic number is four. They've passed the Houston Astros for the best record in the league which would give them home field advantage for the duration of their playoff run.

Cleveland will go for the AL record on Wednesday afternoon, when they host the Tigers in game three of their series, starting at 12:10 pm ET.

The 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) are the only teams since 1900 to win at least 20 in a row and they are both National League teams.

DeJong is steady at short
National League

With their fourth straight win - a rollicking, 13-4 romp over the Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals are chasing down the Cubs in the NL Central, now just two games behind the defending National League champs.

St. Louis got fuel from rookie shortstop Paul DeJong who singled, doubled and homered in four at-bats, driving in two runs and scoring twice.

DeJong has been very steady all season, batting .292 with 22 home runs and 57 RBI.

The Cardinals were also the beneficiaries of nine walks issued by Cincinnati hurlers and also had seven extra base hits of their 14 total.

St. Louis trails Colorado by 3 1/2 games for the second wild card, mostly because the Rockies have won six straight.

The real race is in the division, however. Milwaukee is just 1/2 game behind the Cardinals in what could end up as a "win or go home" scenario for the division title.

The Cards will seek their fifth straight win when they host the Reds in game two of their three-game series at Busch Stadium, Wednesday at 8:15 pm ET.

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