CLEVELAND — For more than 100 years, American League teams have gone on winning streaks of varying lengths — short ones, long ones, double-digit ones.
Nothing, though, like the one the Indians are on.
A streak for the ages.
Moving past the "Moneyball" Athletics, the Indians set the AL record with their 21st straight win Wednesday, 5-3 over the Tigers, to join only two other teams in the past 101 years to win that many consecutive games.
Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer and Mike Clevinger won his fourth straight start as the Indians, a team with its sights set on ending the majors' longest World Series title drought, matched the 1935 Cubs for the second-longest streak since 1900.
And in doing so, they separated themselves from every team since the AL was formed in 1901.
"Who would've ever thought that we'd be in this situation?" Bruce said. "I can't even imagine."
Now that they've moved past those 2002 A's immortalized on film, the Indians are within five wins of catching the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 straight without a loss but whose century-old mark includes a tie.
The Indians haven't lost in 20 days, and they've rarely been challenged during a late-season run in which they've dominated every aspect of the game.
"I think they're enjoying themselves," manager Terry Francona said as clubhouse music boomed in the background. "They should. I think what's kind of cool about our game is when you do things, and you do them the right way, I think it means more. Our guys are playing the game to win, the right way.''
During their streak, which began with a 13-6 win over Boston ace Chris Sale on Aug. 23, the Indians have rarely been tied, never mind equaled, for nine innings. They have been superior in every way possible.
Their starters have gone 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA, they've outscored their opponents by 106 runs and trailed in only four of 189 innings. Incredibly, the Indians have hit more home runs (41) than their pitchers have given up in total runs.
And things get even better for Cleveland as All-Star reliever Andrew Miller will likely be activated from the disabled list today. He has been on the DL twice with tendinitis in his right knee.
Sign of the times?
A few fans seated above the Green Monster dropped down a sign denouncing racism during Boston's game against Oakland at Fenway Park. The sign — draped over the top middle of the Monster — had a black background with white letters that read: "Racism is as American as baseball." It was up for about one batter, and there was a spattering of boos as Red Sox security forced them to remove it.
. The A's have picked land near Oakland's Lake Merritt as the site for a new, privately financed ballpark. Team president Dave Kaval said in a letter sent to the Peralta Community College District that he believes the location presents an opportunity to keep the city's "last professional sports team in Oakland for the long term."