ATLANTA (AP) — Corey Kluber insists no one in the Cleveland clubhouse is talking about the Indians’ longest winning streak in 34 years.
Outside those walls, however, the Indians are big news as the hottest team in the majors.
Carlos Santana hit a tie-breaking single in Cleveland’s three-run ninth inning, 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 since 11 straight from May 23-June 4, 1982 and also the longest in the majors this season.
The unflappable Kluber didn’t sound impressed.
“No one is really talking about the winning streak,” Kluber said. “We realize we are playing well right now. We’re just trying to keep that going. Ultimately an 11-game game winning streak doesn’t mean much if you don’t continue to build the momentum that you have.”
The Indians won 12 straight in 1922. The longest streaks in franchise history were 13 games in 1942 and 1951.
Kluber (8-7) didn’t allow a hit through five innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Cleveland began the day leading second-place Kansas City by five games in the AL Central.
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, and one out, Santana’s single to right field drove in Naquin.
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.
Atlanta’s Jace Peterson hit a homer off Cody Allen in the ninth, giving him a nine-game hitting streak.
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.
“Cody didn’t get rattled and he got the out,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Ender 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.
A review confirmed 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.
“I felt like I beat the throw,” Inciarte said. “He didn’t even have the ball. I don’t know what they’re doing in New York. I don’t know what the deal is.”
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,” Francona said. 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: RHP Joel De La Cruz will 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.
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