Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MLB Notes: Indians Celebrate at Home

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MLB Notes: Indians Celebrate at Home

Article excerpt

Indians celebrate at home

They raised a flag and then raised some hell.

After only partying on the road in the postseason last year, the Cleveland Indians finally got a chance to throw a bash in their own home.

For an hour or so, they sprayed each other with champagne and beer and carried on in their clubhouse the way grown baseball players do after winning something meaningful. But almost as quickly as the bash started, it ended and the Indians headed off on their last trip in the regular season.

There are bigger games ahead, and maybe, bigger parties.

Cleveland clinched the division crown Saturday night when second-place Minnesota lost to Toronto. When the championship became official at around 10 p.m., the Indians were long gone following an 8-4 win over Kansas City. So the plan on Sunday was to pop some champagne win or lose.

Before the game, manager Terry Francona addressed the sellout crowd as the Indians gathered in front of their dugout to watch a red-and-white AL Central championship flag hoisted beyond the center-field wall.

Then, the Indians sent out ace Corey Kluber and beat the Royals before turning their clubhouse into a shower of suds. Unlike last year, when they won the division in Detroit, a playoff series in Boston and the pennant in Toronto, Francona was thrilled to share the moment with their fans.

"They're loud. They're passionate," he said. "I think it's an easy team to like."

Nationals' Harper takes next step in recovery * Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper took swings during batting practice Sunday for the first time since hyperextending his left knee Aug. 12.

Harper previously had taken cuts in the batting cage but was on the field before the Nationals' series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. His session included several shots deep into the stands at Nationals Park. …

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