In­di­ans edge Jays for 2-0 lead

Tom­lin, Miller baf­fle Toronto bat­ters

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Withers The As­so­ci­ated Press

They don’t have a true su­per­star, an em­bar­rass­ment of Al­lS­tars or a celebrity fol­low­ing. That’s the NBA cham­pion Cava­liers, who play next door.

The In­di­ans, though, have depth, chem­istry, one of base­ball’s best man­agers and quite pos­si­bly the most dom­i­nant bullpen weapon in the game.

An­drew Miller has Cleveland two wins from the World Series — and Toronto bat­ters flail­ing.

Josh Tom­lin baf­fled Blue Jays bat­ters for nearly six in­nings and Miller, ac­quired just ahead of the trade dead­line for ex­actly these pres­sure-packed Oc­to­ber mo­ments, blew them away as Cleveland edged Toronto 2-1 on Satur­day to take 2-0 lead in the AL Cham­pi­onship Series.

Car­los San­tana home­red off 20game win­ner J.A. Happ, and Fran­cisco Lin­dor had an RBI sin­gle for the In­di­ans. They won the sec­ond straight tense game in this series and have won five straight post­sea­son games for the first time in their 116-year his­tory.

An af­ter­thought in Au­gust, Tom­lin has emerged as an un­likely Oc­to­ber star for the In­di­ans. He al­lowed one run and three hits in 5 2/3 in­nings for his sec­ond win of the post­sea­son — he won the Game 3 Divi­sion Series clincher in Bos­ton — be­fore Cleveland man­ager Terry Fran­cona handed the ball to the mag­nif­i­cent Miller, who is mak­ing the Blue Jays look like Lit­tle Lea­guers.

The lanky left-han­der struck out the side in the sev­enth, two more in the eighth and has 10 strike­outs in 3 2/3 in­nings in the series. He has not al­lowed a run in 16 ca­reer post­sea­son in­nings.

“He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said closer Cody Allen , who

worked the ninth to close the three-hit­ter for his sec­ond straight save. “He goes out there for two in­nings, shuts them down and gets a lot of swings and misses. When­ever you get to come in be­hind a guy like that, you’re in a pretty good spot.”

So are the In­di­ans, who had never been up 2-0 in four pre­vi­ous ALCS trips.

Miller has been the dif­fer­ence so far, blow­ing through the Blue Jays. Be­fore get­ting a ground­out in the eighth, he struck out seven straight over two games.

“There’s a rea­son we gave up what we did for him,” said Fran­cona, re­fer­ring to the four top prospects the In­di­ans sent to the Yan­kees in July. “We thought that he could be a guy that we could lever­age in sit­u­a­tions like we have. And it would make our bullpen that much bet­ter and give us a chance to keep play­ing. And that’s ex­actly what he’s do­ing.”

Af­ter blud­geon­ing Texas in the ALDS by hit­ting eight homers and scor­ing 22 runs, Toronto has one run and 10 hits — eight sin­gles and a pair of doubles — in two games against the In­di­ans, drop­ping to 0-2 in the ALCS for the sec­ond straight year.

Bautista is 0 for 6 in the series with five strike­outs and in a 0-for-14 post­sea­son tail­spin. The only bat flip­ping Joey Bats has done is back into the rack.

“We didn’t get de­stroyed or any­thing in these two games, but we’ve got our work cut out for us,” Jays catcher Rus­sell Martin said. “His­tory shows we can hit the ball. We’re go­ing to have the op­por­tu­nity to do that at home.”

The series heads north to Toronto’s rau­cous Rogers Cen­tre for Game 3 on Mon­day, with Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer slated to face Mar­cus Stro­man.

Tom­lin orig­i­nally was sched­uled to pitch Game 3, but he was pushed up af­ter Bauer cut his right pinkie while re­pair­ing one of the drones he en­joys fly­ing as a hobby. The 31-year-old Tom­lin pitched him­self out of the ro­ta­tion by go­ing 0-5 with a 11.48 ERA in Au­gust, but in­juries to Car­los Car­rasco and Danny Salazar gave him an­other chance and he’s made the most of it.

Tom­lin re­lied on his curve­ball to keep the Blue Jays guess­ing.

“I needed to es­tab­lish I could throw it for a strike early on, and then it was a pretty good pitch,” he said.

Miller’s slider buck­led the Blue Jays and de­lighted his team­mates.

“I don’t even know how to say it,” In­di­ans sec­ond base­man Ja­son Kip­nis said. “It’s fun to watch. I’ve faced that be­fore, which is not fun to watch.”

••• In­di­ans RF Lon­nie Chisen­hall ex­tended his post­sea­son hit­ting streak to six games, equal­ing Jhonny Per­alta’s team record to be­gin a ca­reer. . Lin­dor has five RBIs in four play­off games. . Josh Don­ald­son’s dou­ble in the third in­ning made him Toronto’s play­off leader in the cat­e­gory for a sea­son (six) and ca­reer (nine). ... The win­ning team in ALCS Game 2 has ad­vanced to the World Series 24 times in the last 30 years . ... Teams hold­ing a 2-0 series lead are 24-3 in the LCS un­der its present best-of-seven for­mat.

••• Miller spent his first six big league sea­sons as a starter, but has no de­sire to do it again. “I think that ship has sailed, I had my chance,” said Miller, who went 10-1 with a 1.45 ERA in 70 reg­u­lar-sea­son out­ings this sea­son. “The bullpen is a lot of fun. I like com­ing to the ball­park ev­ery day know­ing I have a chance to pitch.”

••• For the sec­ond time in the post­sea­son, LeBron James and most of his Cavs team­mates showed up to root on the In­di­ans.


Toronto Blue Jays third bse­man Josh Don­ald­son strikes out against the Cleveland In­di­ans in the eighth in­ning in Game 2 of the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Series on Satur­day.


Cleveland In­di­ans short­stop Fran­cisco Lin­dor sin­gles in a run in the third in­ning Satur­day against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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