Cleveland Indians

Insanely-hot Indians tie Cubs' all-time record

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USA TODAY

Insanely-hot Indians tie Cubs' all-time record

The Cubs may have emerged from Cleveland last fall as World Champs, but the runners-up are certainly not feeling any sort of hangover.

The Indians just rattled off their 21st straight win Wednesday afternoon, tying the MLB all-time record for consecutive games with a win, held by the 1935 Cubs.

The 1916 New York Giants hold the record for most consecutive games without a loss (26), but they also had a tie in there. The 1881 Chicago White Stockings also went 21 straight games without suffering a defeat, but that stretch also included a tie.

The 2017 Indians last lost on Aug. 23, sweeping the Royals, Yankees, Tigers, White Sox, Orioles and Tigers (again) in the process.

It's so many wins, the Indians Twitter account doesn't even have enough room:

The insane run has pushed the "Windians" to 90-56 overall and an MLB-best +222 run differential. With the Los Angeles Dodgers scuffling, the Indians are now only 3.5 games from baseball's best record. As it stands, the Indians have a two-game lead on the Houston Astros for best AL record.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are clinging to a two-game lead in the NL Central and left in a position where they feel they have to deliver a reality check to fans.

What's even more amazing is the Indians have accomplished this feat while three of their best players — Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller, Jason Kipnis — are on the shelf with injury. The win streak started two days after Kipnis went down with a hamstring injury and three days after Miller was placed on the disabled list with a knee issue.

Cubs unveil 2018 schedule with more White Sox and a World Series rematch vs. Indians

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AP

Cubs unveil 2018 schedule with more White Sox and a World Series rematch vs. Indians

The Cubs will open their 143rd season with a 10-game road trip, expand the crosstown rivalry with the White Sox and revisit an epic World Series next year.

Those are some of the highlights from the tentative 2018 schedule released Tuesday, with the Cubs opening next season on March 29 at Marlins Park and traveling to Cincinnati and Milwaukee before the April 9 Wrigley Field opener against the Pirates.

One year after the stunning Jose Quintana trade, the Cubs will play two three-game series against the White Sox in Wrigleyville (May 11-13) and on the South Side (Sept. 21-23).

As part of that American League Central crossover, the Cubs will have flashbacks to the 2016 World Series in Cleveland, returning to the scene of an unforgettable Game 7 (April 24-25) and hosting the Indians — who are now one of the hottest teams in baseball history — for two more games a month later (May 22-23).

Check out the entire grid here:

 

Reynaldo Lopez makes best of outing despite White Sox poor defense

Reynaldo Lopez makes best of outing despite White Sox poor defense

Reynaldo Lopez’s defense didn’t do him any favors on Wednesday night, but he managed the situation as best as possible.

The White Sox rookie starting pitcher limited the red-hot Cleveland Indians to a run despite four misplays behind him in six innings. Lopez earned his team’s lone atta boy of the night from manager Rick Renteria for his ability to overcome lousy White Sox play in a 5-1 loss to the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field. Even though he had to pitch with additional traffic courtesy of a poor defense and it ran up his pitch count, Lopez somehow managed to keep the White Sox within striking distance.

“Even though the numbers were still good he did better than that,” Renteria said. “We should have caught the ball on more plays. It would have allowed us possibly for him to get a little deeper, but he had to make more pitches because of those miscues. We talked to our guys about that. The physical errors don’t bother you as much what precipitated them. Is it lack of focus? What is it? We had to deal with those truths also. We dealt with those today. It will be a great lesson to get better. Those kids want to do very, very well. We say it every day. They’re not looking to fail, but today as far as (Lopez) is concerned, for what he did his numbers could have been better.”

Lopez rarely got any breaks in his fourth start of the season.

With one on and one out in the first, Matt Davidson misplayed a slow roller that went right through his legs into a two-base error. But as he would many times on Wednesday, Lopez sharpened his focus and escaped the inning with a pair of pop outs.

[MORE: Why elite prospects Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez could force White Sox to abandon patient approach

An inning later, Tyler Saladino couldn’t cleanly field a grounder up the middle -- it would have gone for an inning-ending double play -- and Tyler Naquin turned it into a double. Lopez didn’t let it bother him as he struck out Roberto Perez with a changeup and induced a foul out off Francisco Lindor’s bat.

However, Lopez didn’t escape unharmed. Carlos Santana singled off the glove of Nicky Delmonico to start the fourth inning and Alen Hanson couldn’t find the handle on Yandy Diaz’s grounder, which also went for a single instead of a double play. Lopez issued a walk to load the bases and Naquin followed with a sac fly for the only run the pitcher allowed. But Lopez struck out Perez again and retired Lindor to limit the damage.

In spite of a high pitch count, Lopez collected himself and pitched two quick innings to get the White Sox through six. Lopez held Cleveland to a run and six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a 102-pitch effort.

“I just say they are going to have good days and bad days and they are going to make some mistakes once in a while,” Lopez said through an interpreter. “I believe in them because I know they are trying to do their best, not just to help me but for the team and themselves.

“How did I keep my focus? Just working on executing my plan. That’s the way I did it.”