For 15 years, the Oakland Athletics' 20-game winning streak set in 2002 has stood as the longest of its kind in American League history. Today, the Indians take a shot at history.The Indians will go for their 20th straight win against the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. ET in Cleveland, leading
For 15 years, the Oakland Athletics' 20-game winning streak set in 2002 has stood as the longest of its kind in American League history. Today, the Indians take a shot at history.
The Indians will go for their 20th straight win against the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. ET in Cleveland, leading a full slate of games on MLB.TV as the playoff picture continues to form.
The Indians likely wouldn't pick any other pitcher to try to extend the streak, as AL ERA leader Corey Kluber (15-4, 2.56 ERA) will take the mound seeking his 16th win. Curiously enough, the Indians' last loss come on a Kluber start, but he still holds a 2.30 ERA in an MLB-most 82 1/3 innings since the All-Star break.
Detroit will turn to Matthew Boyd (5-9, 5.93), who will try to rebound after giving up four earned runs in six innings in his last start.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Kershaw tries to jump-start Dodgers: LAD@SF, 10:15 p.m.
Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA) will try to bounce back from his shortest start of the season -- outside of an injury-shortened two-inning start July 23 -- against the rival Giants. He'll try to turn around a Dodgers team that has lost 11 straight games.
The ace lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Rockies at home Thursday, allowing six hits and four earned runs in his second start back from the disabled list because of a lower back strain. A bounce-back performance from Kershaw would be welcome news for Los Angeles.
Johnny Cueto (7-7, 4.43 ERA) will take the mound for the Giants. The right-hander is making his third start after coming off the DL because of finger blisters and experiencing right forearm tightness in a rehab start. He has been effective since his return, going 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA, striking out nine in 10 1/3 innings.
Richards' Angel Stadium return: HOU@LAA, 10:07 p.m.
More than 500 days have passed since Garrett Richards last pitched on the mound at Angel Stadium (April 25, 2016). That span will finally be broken as Richards takes the mound against Justin Verlander (11-8, 3.74), who will be making his second appearance with the Astros.
Richards finished with a no-decision in a solid return from a right biceps strain that occurred in his first start of the season when he was coming back from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He threw 52 pitches in 3 1/3 innings while allowing one earned run and striking out three. His presence could be a major factor for the Angels as they continue to fight for the Wild Card.
Verlander, who was acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Aug. 31, was effective in his first appearance for the Astros, earning the win against the Mariners by holding Seattle to one earned run in six innings while striking out seven.
Nats eye No. 1: ATL@WSH, 7:05 p.m.
Previously unthinkable just a couple weeks ago, the Nationals are now within striking distance of the top seed in the National League playoffs as the Dodgers continue to struggle.
Left-hander Giovany Gonzalez (14-6, 2.50) will try to keep closing that gap and continue a career year as he takes on the Braves.
On the Braves' side, Julio Teheran (10-11, 4.77) got knocked around in his first start against the Nats this season in April, giving up seven earned runs in four innings, including two homers. However, he has allowed just two runs across 14 innings in his last two starts against them.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com.