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Indians' mastery reaches 19

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Photographs by AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor, right, and Yandy Diaz (36) celebrate a 11-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND -- One more day. One more game. One more victory.

The Cleveland Indians are ripping off victories like few teams before them, and they're not finished.

The Indians extended the majors' longest winning streak in 15 years to 19 games on Monday night by blowing out the Detroit Tigers 11-0 to move closer to a record that has stood for 101 years.

Francisco Lindor tripled home three runs off rookie Myles Jaye (0-1) in the second inning, and the Indians -- who haven't lost since Aug. 23 -- prolonged the third-best winning streak since 1947.

But while they may be the talk of baseball, Cleveland's players are taking it in stride.

"Surprised? I don't want to say I'm surprised," said Lindor, who is batting. 338 during the streak. "We haven't really paid attention to it. We're just enjoying the ride and trying to focus on what we have in front of our feet. Today is in the past already. We focus on what we have tomorrow, and we'll see what happens."

Cleveland is the ninth team to win at least 19 consecutive, and the streak is the longest since the 2002 Oakland Athletics won 20 in a row.

The Indians can match those A's today, and their chances of getting No. 20 are strong with AL Cy Young Award contender Corey Kluber starting.

At this point, it hardly matters who's on the mound.

The defending AL champions aren't just rolling, they're steamrolling, outscoring opponents 132-32 during a stretch that includes six shutouts.

They're making it look easy, but Manager Terry Francona refuses to make more of the streak.

"I get it," Francona said. "I just don't feel like going there. I think it sends the wrong message. I think our message is always consistent, that, 'Hey, show up and try to outplay them today.' I think they're doing a good job, that's the understatement."

Carlos Carrasco (15-6) struck out 9 in 6 innings, Lindor had 4 RBI and Jose Ramirez hit a two-run home run as the Indians lowered their magic number to clinch the Central to six.

Cleveland joined the 1906 Chicago White Sox (19), the 1947 New York Yankees (19), the 2002 A's (20), the 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and the 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams to reel off 19 consecutive victories. The Giants' record run is in the books as the major league mark, although it did include a tie, which does not count as an official game in baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Even tying these Indians during a game has been nearly impossible.

Cleveland has trailed in only four of 171 innings, scored first in 18 of 19 games and has hit 38 home runs. In a season where other teams have displayed dominance, the Indians stand alone.

"In the whole picture, they're the best team in baseball," Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus said. "No offense to the Dodgers and the Astros. Between their starting pitching, their bullpen, their athleticism, their lineup, they can get you from both sides of the plate."

Cleveland's streak has happened despite the team missing three of its best players: All-Star reliever Andrew Miller, All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis. They're all on the disabled list.

"It's just the next guy up," Kipnis said. "It doesn't matter who it is or what goes down. We like the depth that we have. We have the players that go out and compete each night and you're going to win a lot of games when guys play with that attitude."

Sports on 09/12/2017

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