Lindor, Kluber power Indians to Game 1 win

Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:56am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - 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.

Kluber pitched into and out of trouble in the early going but kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard. 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.   Continued...

Oct 14, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians players Francisco Lindor (12) and Rajai Davis (20) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports