So much for Josh Tomlin giving the Blue Jays a chance to even the series.
The right-hander dominated in Game 2 of the Championship Series, going 5 2/3 innings with a run, two walks, and six strikeouts against a frustrated Toronto offense. In the third inning, Josh Donaldson roped an RBI double to the warning track in right field, but it was too little too late against the Indians’ two-run drive.
Carlos Santana connected on a J.A. Happ fastball in the second inning, driving it over the center field fence to put Cleveland on the board, and Francisco Lindor came through in the bottom of the third to cement the Indians’ one-run lead with an RBI single. As in Game 1 of the ALCS, the Indians’ rotation didn’t need any extra run support to get the job done, thanks in large part to another 3 1/3 shutdown innings by Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
Shaw replaced Tomlin after the starter reached 85 pitches, inducing a groundout from Troy Tulowitzki to strand another runner and end the sixth inning. Despite some questions about his availability after going 1 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the ALCS, Miller looked every bit as capable as he had the night before, striking out the side on 15 pitches in the seventh and issuing a 1-2-3 eighth inning with another two whiffs before handing the ninth to Cody Allen. Allen, too, invoked a strange sense of deja vu after sending the Blue Jays down on a 13-pitch ninth inning.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Blue Jays, however. J.A. Happ went five innings with two runs, a walk, and four strikeouts, his only mistake a pair of heaters delivered straight to Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor. Right-handers Joe Biagini and Roberto Osuna stepped in to handle the last four frames of the game, permitting just one baserunner and limiting the Indians’ attempts to pad their lead late in the game.
If the Blue Jays are going to stay competitive in this series, they’ll have to do so at home. The ALCS will resume at Rogers Centre on Monday, when right-handers Corey Kluber and Marcus Stroman will face off in Game 3 at 8 PM EDT.