For the first time in almost a decade, the Cleveland Indians are division champions, as the longtime also-rans clinched their first American League Central title since 2007 on Monday night with a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Despite losing right-hander Corey Kluber to groin tightness after just four innings, the Indians pounded Detroit’s increasingly shaky pitching staff, tallying eight hits – including a pair of homers from Coco Crisp and Roberto Perez – and six walks en route to their 91st win of 2016 and the ninth division title in franchise history.
“I hope the guys blow it out tonight,” manager Terry Francona said. “They should be so proud.”
Back in the postseason for the first time since 2013, the Indians are now set for a best-of-five ALDS matchup with either the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, or the winner of the one-game wild-card playoff. With the Rangers’ 8-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, the Indians sit just a half-game back of Texas and one game shy of Boston for the top record in the league.