Indians defeat A’s to clinch division
CLEVELAND -- Expensive champagne soaked the home clubhouse at Jacobs Field for the first time since 2001 on Sunday as the Cleveland Indians, overlooked as a contender in baseball’s toughest division, clinched the Central Division with a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Jake Westbrook struck out a career-high nine and Grady Sizemore had four hits as the Indians became the second team in the majors to clinch a postseason bid. The Boston Red Sox clinched at least a wild-card spot Saturday.
Shortly after the game, Indians ace C.C. Sabathia led the team toward center field where they watched a 2007 championship banner hoisted atop the scoreboard.
“Goose bumps,” Sabathia said. “It was so good to do it at home. I had no doubt that we would win it. . . . I just want to win a World Series. I don’t want to stop now. I want more.”
Disregarded by many after finishing 18 games out of first last year, Cleveland recaptured a crown it won six times in seven years from 1995-2001.