MLB·Preview

Blue Jays look to break shutout, even ALCS in Game 2

Cleveland shut down Toronto's explosive offence in the opener and look to take a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series when they host the Blue Jays in Game 2 on Saturday (4:08 p.m. ET).

Toronto managed only one extra-base hit in Game 1 loss

John Gibbons on Devon Travis' status: 'Up in the air right now.'

6 years ago
Duration 9:35
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says the team is awaiting results of Travis' MRI, but reliever Francisco Liriano is cleared to play

The Cleveland Indians shut down Toronto's explosive offence in the opener and look to take a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series when they host the Blue Jays in Game 2 on Saturday (4:08 p.m. ET).

Three Cleveland pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts in Friday's 2-0 shutout while Francisco Lindor belted a two-run homer for the game's only scoring.

Toronto belted eight homers and scored 22 runs while sweeping Texas in the AL Division Series but managed just one extra-base hit - a double by Edwin Encarnacion - in the ALCS opener while being handcuffed by Corey Kluber (six strikeouts), Andrew Miller (five) and Cody Allen (one).

Lindor, who hit 15 homers in the regular season, drilled his second of the playoffs in the sixth inning as the Indians won their fourth consecutive game this postseason.

Josh Tomlin will be the Game 2 starter for Cleveland after Trevor Bauer cut the tip of his right pinkie finger while performing maintenance on his drone.

"This was not malicious. He could have been opening a box in the kitchen," Indians manager Terry Francona said at a press conference. "Things happen. I wish it wouldn't have, but like I said, it wasn't done maliciously, it wasn't done by being silly. Just happened."

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (1-0, 3.60)

Happ stunned everyone in baseball by posting a career-best 20-4 record this season and also defeated Texas in the ALDS. The 33-year-old made some adjustments late last year while with Pittsburgh, and Toronto built on those changes after signing him in the offseason.

"He dropped his arm angle. He used to be right over the top and it affected his control," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said at a press conference. "He was either up or down in the zone, never got ground balls. Got a lot of strikeouts, but got a lot of foul balls, too. It made him work pretty good."

Tomlin served up 36 homers in the regular season, which certainly is a concern with Toronto featuring so many power hitters in its lineup. The 31-year-old said being moved up two days to start Game 2 won't affect his routine as he already was expecting to pitch twice in the series.

"It's just another start. You've got to prepare yourself, no matter what day you're pitching," Tomlin said at a press conference. "So I don't think it really changes the fact that you're pitching Game 7 or Game 6. It's just now your day's lined up on Game 6 as opposed to Game 7. My job is still to go out there and compete and try to win a game."

WALK-OFFS

1. Encarnacion recorded his third two-hit performance of the postseason in Game 1 and is 7-for-16 with two homers.

2. Cleveland RF Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-for-3 in the opener and is 6-for-13 in the postseason.

3. Toronto LHP Francisco Liriano (concussion) returns to duty on Saturday while the status of 2B Devon Travis (knee) is uncertain after he aggravated the injury and departed in the fifth inning of Game 1.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now