ATLANTA (AP) Carlos Santana hit a tie-breaking single in Cleveland’s three-run ninth inning, Corey Kluber allowed only three hits in eight innings and the Indians beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Tuesday night for their 11th straight win.
The winning streak is Cleveland’s longest in 34 years.
Arodys Vizcaino (1-3) walked Tyler Naquin to open the ninth and then walked Juan Uribe on four pitches. With pinch-runner Rajai Davis at first base, pinch-hitter Michael Martinez struck out.
Vizcaino was in danger of issuing another walk when Santana lined a 3-1 pitch to right field, driving in Naquin from second base.
Braves shortstop Erick Aybar mishandled Francisco Lindor’s grounder for an error, allowing Davis to score. Jose Ramirez added a run-scoring single up the middle.
Kluber (8-7), coming off a shutout of Tampa Bay, didn’t allow a hit through five innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Atlanta’s Jace Peterson hit a homer off Cody Allen in the ninth, giving him a nine-game hitting streak. A review confirmed Ender Inciarte was out on a close play at first after Santana bobbled a grounder before tossing to Allen at the bag.
Braves interim manager Brian Snitker and outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who was not playing, came out of the dugout to argue. Bench coach Terry Pendleton pulled Francoeur back to the dugout.
Freddie Freeman added a triple off the center-field wall before Allen ended the game on Nick Markakis’ fly ball to left field for his 15th save.
The Indians’ winning streak is their longest since 11 straight wins from May 23-June 4, 1982. Cleveland began the day leading second-place Kansas City by five games in the AL Central. It was the Indians’ biggest lead in five years.
Inciarte’s two-run single in the sixth tied the game.
Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler set a career high with nine strikeouts while allowing two runs on six hits in six innings.
Wisler gave up two runs in the first. Jason Kipnis singled and scored on Lindor’s single. Lindor later scored from third on a delayed double steal. It was Lindor’s first career steal of home.
Umpire Jerry Layne, who left Monday night’s game in the eighth inning after he was hit by a foul tip from Markakis behind the plate, was at Turner Field on Tuesday but was held out of the game. He was staggered when the foul tip hit his jaw beyond the area covered by his mask. It was not known if Layne will work Wednesday night’s game.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley, on the 15-day DL with right biceps tendinitis, has been taking swings for two straight days ”and by all accounts really did well,” said manager Terry Francona. Brantley, who had surgery on his right shoulder in November, landed on the DL for the second time this season on May 14.
Braves: RHP John Gant was placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain which forced him out of Monday night’s start. ”It’s going to be a while,” Snitker said. … RHP Mike Foltynewicz (right elbow soreness) will make what is expected to be his final rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (9-3, 2.40) will bring the AL’s second-lowest ERA into what will probably be the Indians’ final game at Turner Field on Wednesday night. He lost to the Braves on Aug. 27, 2013 in his fifth major league start.
Braves: The Braves were expected to announce Wednesday’s starter following the game. RHP Joel De La Cruz could be called up from Triple-A Gwinnett for his major league debut. De La Cruz is 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA in 21 appearances with Gwinnett, and his ERA is 3.38 in five starts. The spot in the rotation was left vacant when Aaron Blair was optioned to Gwinnett. Foltynewicz is expected to move into the slot next week.