Francisco Lindor hit a home run that helped the Cleveland Indians to an opening game victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series.
Lindor’s two-run home run during the sixth inning and the pitching of Corey Kluber was the difference in the game. Kluber silenced the booming bats of the Blue Jays to help Cleveland take an early 1-0 lead in the best of seven series.
Lindor’s two-run blast came on a changeup when he was behind in the count 0-2. He raced around the bases as the Indians won their fourth consecutive game in the playoffs.
Lindor, who is just 22, is considered a budding start at shortstop and the plate for the Indians.
After six innings and a third, the Indians went to their bullpen, where Andrew Miller made Toronto hitters look silly by striking out five of the six batters he faced. Cody Allen, the closer threw a perfect ninth for the victory.
Saturday the Indians will look to take a lead of 2-0 in the series when they send Josh Tomlin to the mound to face J.A. Happ a 20-game winner this season for the Blue Jays.
Kluber has not given up a run over 13 1/3 innings during October this year and kept the Blue Jays from going yard in the game.
Kluber won 18 games this season and will be one of the top vote getters for the Cy Young award, which he won in 2014. He has been Cleveland’s only dependable starter the entire regular season.
Kluber is not just the fifth pitcher to pitch a minimum of six innings without allowing a run in his first two starts in the postseason.
Francisco Liriano a southpaw pitcher for the Blue Jays will become eligible to pitch on Saturday after he recovered from a concussion that was caused when he was hit in the head by a line drive.
Happ, who struck 11 batters out and gave up one run during seven innings in defeating Cleveland July 3, was second this past season in wins in the American League. He finished with an overall record of 20-4 and an ERA of 3.18.
He won Game 2 over Texas in the ALDS giving up just one fun over five innings.
Tomlin allowed three home runs in a loss against Toronto on August 20. He was 0-5 during August.