Indians celebrate AL Central title, but injury woes mount

By Joe Rodgers 27 September 2016 48
Indians celebrate AL Central title, but injury woes mount

The Cleveland Indians clinched their first American League (AL) Central title in nine years with a 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Coco Crisp and Roberto Perez went deep for the Indians, while Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli plated two additional runs as the Tribe never trailed at Comerica Park but repeatedly had to answer the Tigers' questions.

"It's hard, man. It is so hard to explain how hard winning is," manager Terry Francona told reporters after the game.

"We've had some challenges thrown our way, but so has everyone else. We managed to get this far, and now we get to play more baseball."

Indians closer Cody Allen struck out Cameron Maybin to secure the win and convert his 30th save in 33 chances.

The Tribe were not all smiles, however, as Corey Kluber exited his start with a right groin tightness after four innings.

The severity of his injury is unknown, but could be another blow to the rotation that will be without Carlos Carrasco (hand) and Danny Salazar (forearm) for the rest of the season, although the latter hopes to return to pitch out of the bullpen.

Francona shed some light on the 2014 Cy Young Award winner's groin problem after the game.

"He's good, but he has a groin thing that he's fighting," Francona said.

"It started getting him in the third and again in the fourth, so I grabbed him. I told him we need to find a way to win a game, but we aren't going far without him, so we need to get him healthy and let him do what he does."

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