CLEVELAND -- With the Royals clinging to a one-run lead with two out and the potential tying run on first in the ninth inning, Indians leadoff man Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate on Friday night at Progressive Field.It was the same situation as the night before when Lindor doubled
CLEVELAND -- With the Royals clinging to a one-run lead with two out and the potential tying run on first in the ninth inning, Indians leadoff man Francisco Lindor stepped to the plate on Friday night at Progressive Field.
It was the same situation as the night before when Lindor doubled in the tying run and the Indians went on to win in the 10th.
"I turned to [third-base coach Mike Jirschele] and said, 'Man, we've been here before,'" Royals manager Ned Yost said.
This time, though, left-hander Mike Minor struck out Lindor for his first career save and the Royals ended the Tribe's American League-record 22-game winning streak with a 4-3 win.
"We showed up today to win, we didn't," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We came close and we get the [potential] winning run to the plate, we'll win some of those games, they're hard to win. Minor was throwing the ball great."
To a man, the Royals are taking pride in being the streak busters. They thought they had broken it on Thursday night.
"Of course, we're all competitors," Yost said. "You don't want to lose, streak or no streak. What they did over there is amazing. Utterly amazing. Twenty-two? It's almost unfathomable to me that you can go three weeks without losing. Tremendous accomplishment.
"Of course, there is pride. We didn't just show up to be part of the streak. We showed up with every intention to beat the streak. When we lost the lead in the ninth [on Thursday], they were upset. They are playing their hearts out."
Starter Jason Vargas kept the Royals in it, going five-plus innings and allowing three runs. The bullpen then did an amazing job, getting the final 12 outs.
"It was definitely nice they didn't keep the streak up against us," Vargas said. "They had an incredible run. You have to respect that. Just for us to get back in the win column is the most important thing."
"I guess it's pretty cool [to end the streak]," Minor said. "But I felt like we could have beat them last night.
Now, the Royals return focus to their own situation. They are four games behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot with 15 games left in the regular season. The math isn't great.
"I think to consider this game a launching pad might not be the right way to play it out," Vargas said. "We have to focus on the next game and put some good games together. To look past the next game would be childish and silly.
"But you're never out until you're out. Nobody wants to go home without the opportunity to put some more jewelry on their fingers. The reality of the matter is we have to take it one game at a time."
Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain seemed relieved that talk of the streak was finally over.
"It's over with now. It's time to move on," Cain said. "It's on to just playing baseball ... It's nice to get rid of it. But like I said, we're about winning ballgames right here, right now."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.