CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians’ plan of getting ahead and turning things over to their bullpen worked to perfection on Friday night.
Of course, it never would have come to fruition if not for the strong performance provided by their ace, Corey Kluber.
Kluber gave Cleveland 6 1/3 scoreless innings, just enough time for Francisco Lindor to provide the only offensive support he would need in the sixth, smacking a massive two-run home run to center field, as the Indians went up 1-0 in the best-of-seven ALCS, topping the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0.
The Tribe’s no. 1 starter allowed six hits, walked two and worked around some early traffic over the first four innings, but the righty settled down to retire nine of the final 10 batters he faced, eventually turning things over to Andrew Miller and Cleveland’s talented bullpen in the seventh.
All of Miller’s outs were strikeouts, punching out five Blue Jays hitters over 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Cody Allen recorded the final three outs, retiring Toronto quickly in a scoreless ninth.
Meanwhile, Jays starter Marco Estrada held the Indians scoreless until the sixth. But after a one-out walk by Jason Kipnis, Lindor provided the spark Cleveland’s packed crowd was looking for, launching the two-run bomb to the seats just in front of the Indians’ bullpen.
That would be the only notable offense Cleveland would muster, but proved to be enough in the Game 1 victory.
The Indians will take their 1-0 series lead into Saturday’s Game 2 at Progressive Field.
Josh Tomlin will take the ball for Cleveland. Toronto will counter with lefty J.A. Happ. First pitch is set for 4:08 p.m. ET.