Six relievers combined for 25 outs and 128 pitches, limiting Toronto to two runs and seven hits as the Indians took a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series. Unbeaten in six playoff games this year, Cleveland can complete its second consecutive sweep on Tuesday.
Enter the Cleveland relievers, who helped the Indians to a Division Series sweep over Boston and have them on the verge of another one against Toronto.
After Bauer left with two down in the first, the final 25 Toronto outs were distributed as follows: four each for
The Blue Jays scored twice but could never take the lead, and when Kipnis led off the sixth with a home run to right-center field, Cleveland went up 3-2 and was suddenly just a few outs from being able to turn the game over to Allen and Miller.
They appeared in that order, yet another instance in which manager Terry Francona has maneuvered his bullpen unencumbered by the idea of rigid roles. Allen, who usually closes for the Indians, came on in the seventh with a runner on and nobody out. A two-out walk to
Miller, who struck out 10 in 3 2/3 innings through the first two games of the series, fanned three this time and earned the save.
Cleveland has won nine straight games dating to the regular season.
Napoli entered 2 for 18 this postseason and in an 0-for-25 slump against right-handers dating to the regular season. He opened the scoring with an RBI double off righty
Bauer made it through only 21 pitches in the bottom of the inning. He'd been pushed back two days to Game 3 after cutting his finger last week repairing one of the drones he enjoys flying as a hobby. He received stitches and tried to pitch, but couldn't make it through the first inning without blood dripping from his hand.
It's yet another injury problem for a Cleveland team that couldn't include starting pitchers
Kipnis answered with his first hit of the series, a home run that put Cleveland back ahead. And after Napoli drew a walk from Stroman and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Jose Ramirez added an RBI single off reliever Joe Biagini.
Bauer's problems were the big story Monday, but Francona did say Salazar (forearm) was progressing well after throwing to hitters Sunday night.