The Cleveland Indians had mostly breezed through their record-setting 22-game winning streak, needing extra innings for the first time during it when they played the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. But they struggled against the Royals again on Friday and this time couldn't pull off the comeback, falling 4-3.
The loss leaves them four wins shy of the all-time Major League Baseball record, a 26-game steak by the 1916 New York Giants. The Indians do now hold the record for the longest streak in American League history — and the second-longest streak the MLB ever has seen.
The run of wins also saw Cleveland rise to the top of the American League, with a guaranteed spot in the playoffs, all but clinching their division.
The win represents a surprising turnaround from when Kansas City played Cleveland during the streak in August, getting swept while being outscored 20-0. The biggest difference for the Royals tonight was that the bullpen held, giving up one hit and three walks in four innings.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain led Kansas City at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted in, but every starter outside of catcher Drew Butera got at least one hit — including solo home runs by shortstop Alcides Escobar and designated hitter Brandon Moss.
With 15 games left to play, the Royals remain four games out of the final AL wild card spot.