A day after their 22-game streak ended, the Cleveland Indians returned to their winning ways, beating the Kansas City Royals, 8-4, to capture the AL Central crown for the second straight season Saturday at Progressive Field. Edwin Encarnacion homered and tallied two RBIs, Francisco Lindor added three this while Carlos Carrasco (16-6) pitched into the seventh frame for the Indians, who clinched the AL Central title after the Minnesota Twins lost to the Toronto Blue Jays later in the day.

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On Friday, the Royals ended the Indians’ 22-game-winning run with a 4-3 triumph in the second game of the four-game series. “They outplayed us yesterday, but that's in the past.

Today was another day,” said Lindor, who tallied an extra-base hit for the 10th straight game, a team record. Carrasco allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 frames. “It's nice to see them go right back out there and try to be as good a team as we can be," said Indians manager Terry Francona.

Indians first AL team to clinch postseason berth

The Indians (92-57) became the first AL team to clinch a spot in the postseason and the second in the league behind the Washington Nationals with 13 games left to play. For the first time in 61 years, the Indians now have three starting pitchers with 16 wins each. Aside from Carrasco, Corey Kluber has a 16-4 mark, and Trevor Bauer has a 16-9 mark this season. The Indians also have a chance to clinch the top seed in the AL as they 1 ½ games ahead of the closest pursuer, the Houston Astros.

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They are also 4 ½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who own the best record in the Majors and the home-field advantage for the World Series.

Jason Hammel took loss for Royals

Jason Hammel (8-12) yielded seven runs -- six earned – on 11 hits with a walk and three strikeouts while Alex Gordon hit a solo shot as the Royals slipped to 73-75. Abraham Almonte put the Indians ahead in the second inning via a run-scoring sacrifice fly, but the Royals responded with a solo shot by Gordon in the third. In the bottom part of the third, the Indians took a 3-1 lead behind Carlos Santana’s RBI single and Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.

In the fourth, the Royals cut the deficit via a sacrifice fly by Brandon Moss, but the Indians blew the game open by scoring four runs in the sixth for a 7-1 advantage. In the seventh, Drew Butera hit a run-scoring double while Whit Merrifield knocked with a RBI single to bring the Royals within 7-4 before Andrew Miller got the third out to keep Kansas City at bay.