Cleveland faces a stiff challenge, but the streak lives on

The Indians extended their AL-record win streak to 22 games in dramatic fashion Thursday night. AP Photo/David Dermer

The Cleveland Indians are headed to the postseason in style.

They extended their American League-record win streak to 22 games with a drama-filled effort Thursday night. The Royals gave Cleveland its toughest challenge since the streak began on Aug. 24 before losing to the Indians 3-2 in 10 innings.

Francisco Lindor hit a game-tying, two-run double in the ninth inning, and Jay Bruce followed with a walk-off double in the 10th.

How close did they come to losing?

According to FanGraphs, the Indians reached their low point in win probability Thursday night at 10.1 percent entering Lindor's at-bat in the ninth inning.

Entering Thursday's game, their previous low point in win probability during the win streak was 35.5 percent, and their average low point in win probability was 44.8 percent, including five games where it never dipped below 50-50.

Thursday was the first time the Indians trailed entering the seventh inning or later since the streak began three weeks ago.

Complete domination

During the 22-game winning streak, the Indians have outscored their opponents by 105 runs. That's better than all but five teams have for the entire season (not including Cleveland). For reference, the first-place Red Sox have a plus-103 run differential this season.

Cleveland has not allowed more than four runs in a game in 21 straight games after winning the first game of the streak 13-6 at home against the Red Sox. It's the longest streak of its kind since the Giants had a 23-game stretch in 2010 before going on to win the World Series.

During Cleveland's win streak, its offense has a .937 OPS. Entering Thursday, that would have ranked 12th in MLB among qualified hitters and three points better than 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant.

Friday night they will take their aim at 23 straight wins against Royals left-hander Jason Vargas. Vargas is winless in each of his past two starts against Cleveland, allowing four runs in both starts.