Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays get familiar with strike three, now down 2-0 in ALCS

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Oct 15, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) reacts after striking out against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning of game two of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) reacts after striking out against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning of game two of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are heading home down 2-0 in the American League Championship Series after a 2-1 loss on Saturday in Cleveland.

Toronto fell victim to the strikeout yet again and failed to stack any form of offence together against Josh Tomlin and Cleveland’s all-world bullpen.

J.A. Happ struggled to find his groove for the Blue Jays in his second postseason start of 2016, but managed to hold Cleveland to four hits and two runs over his five innings of work on 94 pitches.

Cleveland was first to strike with Carlos Santana hitting a solo home run over the tall left field wall in the bottom of the second inning. Josh Donaldson was quick to answer back, sending a double to the opposite field in the next inning that scored Darwin Barney to lock the game at 1-1. Lindor continued his dominance, however, putting Cleveland back on top with an RBI single in the bottom half.

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Joe Biagini entered in the sixth inning and finally solved Lindor with a strikeout before giving the Blue Jays two scoreless innings of relief, working around some inconsistencies of his own. Roberto Osuna handled the bottom of the eighth cleanly.

Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin kept Toronto’s bats off-balance all game by throwing his curveball at a far higher rate than he typically does. After Tomlin left late in the sixth inning with the lead, Andrew Miller entered and mowed through the lineup with four strikeouts in a row. Miller struck out five of the six batters he faced.

Prior to the game the Blue Jays removed second-baseman Devon Travis from their ALCS roster and replaced him with Justin Smoak. General manager Ross Atkins told media that Travis’ knee injury from game one is a new, standalone injury and not a further aggravation of his bone bruise. MLB playoff roster rules make Travis ineligible for the next series should Toronto advance, thus ending his 2016 season.

Game three of the series is scheduled for Monday, October 17th at 8:08 p.m. ET in Toronto. The Blue Jays will send Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37) to the mound for his first start since the Wild Card game to face Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA). Bauer was originally scheduled to start game two for Cleveland but was pushed back due to a minor hand injury that required stitches.

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