CLEVELAND -- With yet another four-game sweep, the Indians matched a feat last accomplished by the 1961 New York Yankees. Now, theyd like to repeat something else those Bronx Bombers did in October. Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn had two RBIs apiece as Cleveland, clinging tightly to one of the ALs two wild-card spots with a week left, became the first team in 52 years to post six sweeps of a four-game series in a season with a 9-2 win Sunday over the Houston Astros. According to STATS, the Indians are the first team since the 61 Yankees, a team featuring Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, to sweep six four-games series. The Yankees went on to win the World Series that season. "Weve got a week to go and were in a fun spot," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We have to keep winning." Brantley hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth inning off Erik Bedard (4-12) and Bourn tripled in a four-run sixth as the Indians moved 1 1-2 games ahead of Texas in the ALs wild-card scramble. The Rangers lost 4-0 at Kansas City on a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning. Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, just a half-game behind Tampa Bay for first place in the wild-card standings. With six games to go, Cleveland controls its own destiny. As long as they win, the Indians have no worries. And with upcoming games against the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins -- the two bottom teams in the AL Central -- things couldnt be lined up any better. In a season of twists and turns, theres suddenly a straight path to the post-season. "It has been one of those crazy years, a roller-coaster," said first baseman Nick Swisher. "Weve had some great winning streaks and some great losing streaks. Weve had everything, but I think thats just a testament to us pulling together and staying tight." Corey Kluber (10-5) dodged trouble throughout 5 1-3 innings and the Indians improved to 50-18 against teams with losing records. Cleveland may not have an abundance of All-Stars or household names, but rather a collection of players pulling together. And in Octobers chilly and electrified air, thats the kind of team that can win it all. "When were clicking on all cylinders, were hard to deal with," Bourn said. "We just keep fighting. We have a lot of ways to beat you. We can win with our pitching and we can win with our offence, too. We always know that and we always try to have each others backs." Chris Carter homered for the Astros, who lost their ninth straight and fell to 51-105 overall. In its inaugural AL campaign, Houston is two losses from matching the club record set last season. "Well fight to the very end," first-year Astros manager Bo Porter said. "The number of losses, whether its consecutive losses, thats not going to prevent this group or us as a staff from coming in here every day and putting up our best fight." Leading 3-2, the Indians broke it open in the sixth, highlighted by Bourns standup triple off reliever Philip Humber. Bedard, who has lost nine of his last 10 decisions, gave up a leadoff single and hit a batter before Brantley chased the left-hander with an RBI single to make 4-2. After Aviles sacrificed, Bourn brought in two more runs with his shot into the right-field corner. Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2, giving the Indians their first comfortable cushion in four days against a Houston team that fought hard but made far too many mistakes. Poor attendance has been an issue all year for the Indians, but a crowd of 26,168 -- their largest for any Sunday home game this season -- turned out to push them toward October. "The atmosphere at the ballpark the last couple nights has been great," Francona said. "It should be. This is a fun team to watch." With just one week left, every game is vital for the Indians, who havent made the post-season since 2007. They needed to sweep the Astros and did so, but it wasnt easy. At this point in the season, nothing is. Cleveland would seem to have the easiest path to the playoffs among the current wild-card leaders. The Indians have two home games against Chicago, a team theyve beaten 15 of 17 times, and end the season with four at Minnesota. Texas will host Houston three times and end with a four-game set at home against the Los Angeles Angels. Tampa Bay will finish a wraparound series Monday with Baltimore and then go on the road for three games at Yankee Stadium and three in Toronto. NOTES: Indians RHP Justin Masterson, out since Sept. 2 with a strained oblique muscle, threw a simulated game after the series finale. The team is being cautious with Masterson, but theres a chance he could pitch in relief later this week or start in the post-season if the Indians qualify. ... Plate umpire CB Bucknor took a foul tip off his right shoulder in the eighth, but stayed in the game. ... The Indians are 16 games over .500 for the first time since 07, when they made it to the ALCS and lost to Franconas Red Sox. ... The Astros have scored just 14 runs during their nine-game slide. cheap nfl jerseys paypal
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. The Montreal Canadiens goaltender was outstanding, making 40 saves in a 5-4 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.EDMONTON -- If the Oilers are going to climb back into playoff contention Edmonton will have to overcome a host of injuries as well as their opponents. The Oilers open the second half of their season against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, when theyll try to end a three-game losing streak thats part of a 2-8-0 record over the last 10 games. Edmonton lost forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as well as defencemen Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney at various points in that 10-game period. "We cant do much about whats gone on in the first half, good and bad, unfortunately," coach Tom Renney said on Tuesday. "What we can control is whats in front of us and we certainly approach it that way." Briefly atop the Western Conference standings after a 9-3-2 start, the Oilers hit the halfway mark in 13th place at 16-22-3 with a 4-1 loss in Dallas last Saturday. That defeat saw Edmonton finish a stretch of seven road games at 1-6-0. "Weve got a group of guys here who have a terrific cumulative attitude, if you will," Renney said. "We just have to stay with it. We had a great start and we faltered and we slipped. Other teams that people were writing about and throwing accolades all over have also had tough times and slipped. Renney is confident that Edmonton can find itself back in the Western Conferences playoff picture with some hard work. "Theres an ebb and flow to the hockey season and theres no reason why we cant get ourselves winning again and get ourselves on a couple of real good rolls that really help reel people in," said Renney. Edmontons biggest personnel loss came in the 4-1 loss to the Stars. Eberle, who leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 26 assists, sprained his knee when he collided with Jamie Benn. Eberle will be out two to three weeks. "Whatever people are saying, we still want to make a push here and win hockey games," said Eberle, who has already matched the 43 points he had in 69 games as a rookie last season. "Obviously, its going to be tough to watch from the crowd, but, at the same time, Ill get healthy and get back into this line-up as quick as I can." Nugent-Hopkins, who leads NHL rookies in scoring with 13 goals and 35 assists will be out until the end of January with a shoulder injury suffered when he lost his footing and fell into the boards in a 4-3 win in Chicago on Jan. 2. With Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins injured, Renney will lean heavily on Taylor Hall -- who has scored goals in four straight games -- as well as Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth and Alex Hemsky.dddddddddddd "The first 15 games were great for us," said Hall, who will face New Jersey on a line with Gagner and Hemsky. "The last 25 havent been the greatest. "Theres been a lot of injuries. Theres been times when weve had a lot of key guys out. Its hard to play like that. Theres no getting around that, but we have to put that behind us and focus on having the best second half we can possibly have and see where that puts us." Gilbert sprained his ankle against the Blackhawks when he was slammed into the boards by Daniel Carcillo. Hes likely out until after the NHL all-star game on Jan. 29. Whitney, who has struggled to recover from ankle surgery, hasnt even played since Dec. 22. The loss of Gilbert, who leads the Oilers with 23:41 of ice time per game, is a big blow. With Whitney in and out of the lineup, Gilbert and Ladislav Smid have been Renneys go-to tandem. "Ive used this before, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are in a playoff spot right now without the best player in the world," Gagner said, talking about the loss of Sidney Crosby. "Its tough. Theres times where it gets frustrating, but every team goes through injuries at some point in the season. Its a matter of guys just coming together and collectively battling through it. "Its be a pretty special feeling in here if were able to soldier up and have a good little run here with some key guys out and get ourselves back into playoff contention. Thats our goal." After back-to-back 30th-place finishes, Renneys goal at the start of the season was to play meaningful games in March and April. That will take some doing. Going into games Monday, the Oilers sit 26th overall and are 13 points back of the eighth-place Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference. "We really can only approach every day as it comes and pay attention to the needs of the day in terms of how we practice and how we prepare to be better," Renney said. "Thats what you do here. I think our attitude is probably as important to us as anything." Edmonton is getting some reinforcements from its minor-league system. Forward Magnus Paajarvi was recalled from Oklahoma City with Ryan OMarra Monday after tallying nine points in 10 games with the Barons. Both will be in the lineup against New Jersey. That wont be the case for former first-round pick Gilbert Brule, who was also recalled but had to clear re-entry waivers. Brule was claimed by Phoenix ' ' '