ANAHEIM -- For the second consecutive day, Francisco Lindor helped sink the Angels with a tiebreaking home run, launching a three-run, go-ahead shot to complete the Indians' three-game sweep with a 4-1 victory in Thursday afternoon's series finale at Angel Stadium.The Indians, who have now won 27 of their last
ANAHEIM -- For the second consecutive day, Francisco Lindor helped sink the Angels with a tiebreaking home run, launching a three-run, go-ahead shot to complete the Indians' three-game sweep with a 4-1 victory in Thursday afternoon's series finale at Angel Stadium.
The Indians, who have now won 27 of their last 28 games, extended their road winning streak to a franchise-record 14 games and remain one game back of the Dodgers for the best record in the Majors. They join the 1916 Giants for the most wins in a 28-game span since the 1884 Providence Grays, who went on to win 28 out of 29, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It's crazy. That stuff doesn't happen in baseball," Indians reliever Dan Otero said. "What's going on right now is a lot of fun, and we want to keep it going. It just makes it fun to come to the ballpark every day. It's a good group of guys, and [manager Terry Francona] keeps it loose."
The Angels, meanwhile, have lost four in a row and nine of their last 13, slipping to 2 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot after Minnesota beat Detroit on Thursday.
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"We've got to win," Angels center fielder Michael Trout said. "We can't look and see what the Twins are doing. We've got to win games. It doesn't matter if they win or lose -- we've got to win."
• Halos 'still in it,' look to shift momentum
Lindor snapped a 1-1 tie by crushing his 32nd home run of the season off Angels rookie Parker Bridwell in the fifth inning. Lindor is hitting .348/.427/.743 over the Indians' past 28 games, with 11 homers, 19 extra-base hits, 25 runs and 27 RBIs.
Jose Pujols opened the scoring with an RBI double off Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar in the first inning, but the Angels were held scoreless after that. Salazar exited after allowing one run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings in an abbreviated start, and Zach McAllister, Otero, Andrew Miller, Nicholas Goody and Tyler Olson combined to pitch 6 1/3 scoreless innings to seal the Indians' 11th straight win over the Angels.
"They did extremely good," Lindor said. "That's what we're built around, our pitching staff. They've been carrying us the whole year. It was huge. It's fun whenever they all get to have a chance in the game. It's pretty cool. I'm glad I'm on this team."
Bridwell yielded four runs on five hits -- including two home runs -- while walking two and striking out one over 5 1/3 innings for the Halos.
"We made mistakes," Bridwell said. "They didn't completely beat us. We did get swept, but we also made mistakes that hurt us, and by mistakes, I'm talking pitches."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gio's game-ending gem: Olson's first career save -- closer Cody Allen had a scheduled day off -- was punctuated by a highlight-reel defensive gem from third baseman Giovanny Urshela. With two outs, Luis Valbuena slapped a pitch up the third-base line. Urshela ranged to his right, gloved the ball near the bag and made a leaping throw to first baseman Carlos Santana on the fly from foul ground for the final out. The throw distance was 134 feet, per Statcast™.
"Unbelievable," Olson said. "I couldn't help but just laugh, because the plays that guy makes are just unbelievable."
Indians catch some breaks: In the fifth, Trout, Brandon Phillips and Kole Calhoun all converged on a shallow fly ball off the bat of Yan Gomes, but the ball hit off the heel of Calhoun's glove and fell for a leadoff single. Urshela followed by lining a single off the glove of a leaping Andrelton Simmons, putting runners on first and second for the Indians. Bridwell induced a forceout at third from Erik Gonzalez, but he then yielded a three-run homer to Lindor to put the Angels in a 4-1 hole.
"When you open up the door for a good team like that, you're pretty sure they're going to take advantage of it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think they did this afternoon."
Encarnacion ties it: Pujols' RBI double in the first inning gave the Angels their first lead of the season against Cleveland, but it proved short-lived. Less than 10 minutes later, Edwin Encarnacion blasted a leadoff homer in the second, tying the game at 1. Encarnacion collected his 37th home run of the season after hammering an 0-1 curveball from Bridwell 368 feet over the left-field fence.
MILLER PASSES TEST
The Indians wanted to have Miller work a multi-inning outing on Thursday, but a high-stress, 26-pitch seventh was deemed sufficient for the lefty's latest test. Miller, who is working to regain his form after two second-half stints on the disabled list due to a balky right knee, allowed an infield single and walked two to encounter a bases-loaded jam. He recovered with two strikeouts to escape unscathed. First, Miller blew an elevated 95-mph fastball by C.J. Cron, and then he used a low, inside slider to generate a whiff from Martin Maldonado.
"It was really good for him. I think he needed that," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "I think what we saw was Andrew Miller again for two hitters. He got in trouble, and six pitches later, it's two punchouts and he's out of trouble. I think that was really good for him to have to get in that situation and get out of it." More >
Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer (16-9, 4.41 ERA) is slated to take the ball for the Tribe in Friday's 10:10 p.m. ET tilt with the Mariners, opening a three-game weekend set at Safeco Field. In his past 12 appearances (11 starts), Bauer has gone 9-1 with a 2.83 ERA and 78 strikeouts against 20 walks in 70 innings.
Angels: The Halos will head to Houston and open their final road trip of the season Friday against the Astros at 5:10 p.m. PT at Minute Maid Park. Right-hander Garrett Richards (0-2, 2.00 ERA) will start the opener and make his fourth start since returning from the disabled list.
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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.
Maria Guardado** covers the Angels for MLB.com.