Bullpen brilliance gives Indians ALCS stranglehold

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:13am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Mike Napoli homered and hit an RBI double, the Cleveland bullpen was stellar from the first inning on, and the Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Monday night to take a three-games-to-none stranglehold in the American League Championship Series.

The Indians will aim for a sweep of the best-of-seven set on Tuesday at Rogers Centre.

Jason Kipnis also homered for Cleveland, while Michael Saunders homered for Toronto.

Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer left the game after with two outs in the first inning following his second walk, as his previously injured right pinky finger began bleeding while he was on the mound.

The Cleveland bullpen took over, and six relievers held the Blue Jays to two runs.

Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (0-1) allowed three hits, including two home runs, three walks and four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Bauer was trying to pitch after cutting his finger while playing with a drone. The injury required several stitches and prevented him from starting Game 2.

Kipnis led off the sixth inning with his second home run of the post season, a liner to right on a 2-2 fastball, that gave Cleveland a 3-2 lead.

Joe Biagini replaced Stroman after a one-out walk to Napoli in the sixth. Napoli took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jose Ramirez, and Cleveland led 4-2.   Continued...

Oct 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians first baseman Mike Napoli (right) hits a solo home run in front of Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (left) during the fourth inning in game three of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports