Indians’ Bullpen Saves the Day in 4-2 Win Over Blue Jays
The Cleveland Indians are one victory away from their first American League pennant since 1997 following an outstanding performance from their bullpen.
Six Indians relievers combined to throw 8 1/3 innings in a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. The result gives Cleveland a three-games-to-none lead in the AL Championship Series and an opportunity to wrap up a World Series berth as early as Tuesday.
The bullpen door was in full swing once Trevor Bauer's sliced pinkie forced him to leave after just four batters. Bauer cut the pinkie on his pitching hand while trying to fix one of his drones last week. Bauer had to be replaced as he continued to drip blood on the baseball.
Reliever Dan Otero followed Bauer and allowed a solo homer by Michael Saunders during his 1 1/3 innings of work. Zach McAllister blew a 2-1 lead in the fifth, but the Indians took the lead for good the next inning.
Jason Kipnis opened the sixth with a tiebreaking, solo homer before Jose Ramirez added an RBI single later in the inning. Cleveland's other runs were provided by Mike Napoli (NAP'-oh-lee), who hit an RBI double in the first and a solo shot in the fourth.
Cody Allen and Andrew Miller closed out the victory for the Indians, although they reversed their normal routine. Allen worked out of a seventh-inning jam after picking up the save in each of the first two games in the series. Miller struck out three of the five batters he faced en route to his first save of the postseason.
Brian Shaw worked 1 2/3 innings to get the victory. Blue Jays starter Marco Stroman took the loss, charged with four runs on three hits and three walks over 5 1/3.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista went 1-for-3 after being inserted into the leadoff slot. Ezequiel Carrera had two hits for the Blue Jays, who haven't led at any point in the series.
Cleveland hurlers have limited the Jays to three runs and 17 hits in the three games.
Game 4 is Tuesday afternoon in Toronto. Indians ace Corey Kluber will pitch on short rest against Aaron Sanchez.