Cleveland 2, Toronto 1
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 15, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND — (Wire Service Report) – Francisco Lindor drove in what became the winning run in the third inning, and reliever Andrew Miller put on an overpowering display of pitching late in the contest as the Cleveland Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Four pitchers combined on a three-hitter as Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The scene now shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday night.
Miller pitched the seventh and eighth innings and struck out five of the six batters he faced. He also pitched in the Indians win in Game 1 on Friday. In those two appearances Miller pitched 3 2/3 hitless innings, striking out 10 with no walks. The 6-foot-7 left-hander came in to start the seventh inning and struck out three men in a row. He retired the side in order in the eighth inning, with two more strikeouts. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin pitched 5 2/3 innings to get the win. Tomlin allowed one run on three hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. Cody Allen pitched the ninth to pick up the save.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ, a 20-game winner during the regular season, pitched five innings and gave up both Cleveland runs. Tomlin pitched five-plus solid innings in the Indians’ AL Division Series-clinching game in Boston on Oct. 10, and he was just as effective in this game.
The Indians gave him an early 1-0 lead when Carlos Santana led off the second inning by hitting a line drive that just made it over the 17-foot left field wall for a home run. Tomlin retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, but with one out in the third inning Darwin Barney singled. Tomlin retired Ezequiel Carrera on a groundout, but Barney advanced to second. Josh Donaldson then sliced a double into the right-field corner, scoring Barney with the tying run.
The Indians took the lead back in the third inning. Roberto Perez led off with a walk, and he was forced on at second on a grounder hit by Rajai Davis. Davis, who led the American League with 43 stolen bases, stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch.
Happ retired Jason Kipnis on a fly out to shallow left field. But Lindor lined a single through the middle, scoring Davis and giving the Indians a 2-1 lead.
Following Donaldson’s RBI double in the third inning, Tomlin walked Edwin Encarnacion, but then found his rhythm, retiring the next 10 batters he faced, five on strikeouts. That streak ended when Jose Bautista walked with two outs in the sixth inning. Bryan Shaw relieved and got Troy Tulowitzki to hit a grounder back to the mound for the third out. Then in came Miller and Allen — to the end of the game.
The three Cleveland relievers combined to retire all 10 batters they faced.
NOTES: Indians manager Terry Francona has not ruled out the possibility of bringing RHP Corey Kluber back on short rest to start Game 4 Tuesday in Toronto. Kluber pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 Friday. The Indians currently have RHP Mike Clevinger, a reliever, tentatively scheduled to start Game 4, which would turn that game into a bullpen game for Cleveland. … With LHP J.A. Happ starting Game 2 Saturday for Toronto, Francona went with right-handed hitting OFs Rajai Davis and Brandon Guyer in place of left-handed hitter Tyler Naquin and switch-hitter Coco Crisp. … 2B Devin Travis was taken off Toronto’s ALCS roster and replaced by 1B Justin Smoak. Travis, who missed two games in the Division Series with Texas with a bone bruise in his right knee, had to leave Game 1 of the ALCS in the fifth inning due to pain in the knee. He underwent an MRI exam on Saturday. If the Blue Jays advance to the World Series, Travis would be ineligible to be put back on the Toronto roster. INF Darwin Barney started at second base Saturday in place of Travis. … Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons tinkered with his lineup for Game 2, flip-flopping C Russell Martin and SS Troy Tulowitzki. Martin was moved from No. 5 to No. 6 in the order and Tulowitzki from No. 6 to No. 5.