Cleveland 2, Toronto 0
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 14, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Lazaro Diaz, 1B -
Jim Wolf, 2B -
Brian Gorman, 3B -
Jim Reynolds, LF -
Mike Everitt, RF -
CLEVELAND -- 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."
Kluber pitched into and out of trouble in the early going but kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard. In two postseason starts this year against Boston and Toronto, Kluber has pitched 13 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Counting his last start of the regular season, Kluber has not allowed a run in his last 15 1/3 innings.
"Early in the game, he threw a lot of strikes, gave up hits on 0-2 or 1-2 pitches," Francona said. "But when there's some traffic (on the bases) he'd bear down, and his breaking ball was at times devastating."
"Kluber is pretty good. That's all I know," Gibbons said. "He's got arguably the best right-hand breaking ball in the game, and he's got that razor blade slider that's tough to do anything with."
Kluber threw 100 pitches, 71 of them strikes. He struck out six and walked two. He gave way to Miller with one out in the seventh inning.
Miller pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings on one hit, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Allen retired the side in the ninth in order without a ball leaving the infield.
In Game 2 on Saturday afternoon, Cleveland will send Josh Tomlin to the mound against Toronto's J.A. Happ.
The Blue Jays made Kluber work in the early innings. They had two base runners in each of the first three innings but was able to hold them to 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
"I had some stressful innings, but it wasn't like the wheels were spinning. I was getting ahead in the count, I just didn't make good pitches once I was there," Kluber said.
After striking out Ezequiel Carrera on three pitches to start the game, Kluber gave up a single to Josh Donaldson and a double to Edwin Encarnacion, putting runners at second and third with one out. But Kluber struck out Jose Bautista on three pitches and retired Russell Martin on a roller to first base to end the inning.
In the second inning, Kluber gave up a single and a walk with one out but wiggled out of that jam by getting Devon Travis to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Travis was removed from the game in the fifth inning with an apparent leg injury suffered while he was covering first base on a bunt attempt. Travis missed Games 3 and 4 of the AL Division Series against Texas with a right knee bruise.
"He planted and felt a sharp pain in his knee and wasn't able to continue," Gibbons said. Travis will have an MRI on Saturday.
NOTES: Cleveland RHP Trevor Bauer has been scratched from his scheduled start in Game 2 on Saturday after suffering a laceration on the small finger of his pitching hand while doing "routine maintenance" on his drone. The laceration required several stitches. RHP Josh Tomlin, who was scheduled to pitch Game 3, will now start Game 2. Bauer is scheduled to start Game 3 on Monday in Toronto. ... The Indians adjusted their roster for the ALCS, adding LHP Ryan Merritt and removing C Chris Gimenez. ... Toronto also made several roster changes for the ALCS. The Blue Jays added INF Ryan Goins and OF Dalton Pompey and removed 1B Justin Smoak and RHP Scott Feldman. ... Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista has six career postseason home runs, tying him with Joe Carter for the most in Blue Jays history. He hit one in the AL wild-card game against the Baltimore Orioles and another against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary