Indians Claim AL Central Title, MLB Playoff Berth with Win vs. Royals

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2017

Cleveland Indians' Jay Bruce, center, celebrates with teammates after Bruce drove in the winning run with a double off Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Brandon Maurer during the 10th inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Cleveland. The Indians won 3-2. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

An 8-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field helped the Cleveland Indians clinch the American League Central division title.

The MLB and the team's Twitter account celebrated the accomplishment:

Cleveland moved to 92-57 with Saturday's victory, a record that was mostly aided by an AL-record 22-game win streak that ended Friday.

The squad was just 69-56 on Aug. 23 at the start of the streak, but now have the best record in the league and still have a chance to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers for best in the majors.

It has truly been a team effort to reach this point, with just about everyone on the roster carrying the team on a given night.

Five different starting pitchers have at least nine wins, with three of them already earning 15 wins in 2017 (Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco). Seven different hitters have at least 10 home runs, not even including Jay Bruce, who has five since joining the Indians but 34 total on the year.

Jose Ramirez has become an MVP candidate with his .314 batting average, 27 home runs and league-best 50 doubles, but this is far from a one-man team.

This success continues an improbable 2016 season that saw the squad win the AL Central and advance all the way to the World Series before falling in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com noted the last consecutive division titles for Cleveland:

Considering the team is currently the favorite to win the title at 3-1, per OddsShark, this year has the chance to end even better.

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