Cleveland 2, Toronto 0
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 14, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report) – The Cleveland Indians have a standard formula for winning, and Friday night all of it was on display: strong starting pitching, timely hitting and a lockdown bullpen. Francisco Lindor’s two-run homer in the sixth inning accounted for all of the runs as the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field. Cleveland’s Corey Kluber pitched 6 1/3 innings and combined with two relievers on a seven-hit shutout.
“It wasn’t like we faced the average Joe out there and he struggled,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Kluber is one of the elite pitchers in the game.”
Relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen followed Kluber to the mound and the three Cleveland pitchers combined to retire 17 of the last 19 Toronto hitters to end the game.
“That needs to be one of our strengths if we are going to get where we want to go,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of his bullpen.
Toronto’s Marco Estrada pitched a complete game, giving up six hits, with five strikeouts and one walk. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Jason Kipnis drew a walk. Estrada then got ahead in the count 0-2 on Lindor. But the Indians’ All-Star shortstop hit Estrada’s next pitch over the wall in center field for a home run.
“At some point, someone was going to have to hit a changeup because he has one of the best changeups in the game,” Francona said of Estrada. “You can look for it and still not hit it.”
Lindor looked for it, and hit it.
“I thought (center fielder Kevin) Pillar was going to catch it,” Lindor said. “When it went out, I threw my arms up. That was awesome.”