TORONTO -- At the beginning of Monday night's game, there was blood pouring out of Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer’s finger. By the end of it, it was the Toronto Blue Jays who looked like a bloody mess.
Game 3 of the American League Championship Series will be remembered as the first playoff game influenced by a drone. The gash on Bauer’s right pinky caused blood to flow out of the cut and for his manager Terry Francona to remove the righty after just two outs and two walks. Like all the other countless injuries the Tribe have suffered, the logical thinking was that Bauer's cut would sink them.
Logic doesn’t apply with this club. Francona and the Indians continued to rewrite the way modern postseason bullpens are used. Francona turned to a parade of relievers, a grand total of six, to record the final 25 outs.
In the seventh with a man on, Francona went to “closer” Cody Allen. The Jays put two men on, but with two outs, Josh Donaldson’s hard liner was caught by a charging Coco Crisp in left field. Allen took care of five outs, leaving the final four for Andrew Miller, who closed out the Indians' 4-2 win.
The Indians seem almost unstoppable, having now won all six of their playoff games and needing just one more victory to complete their second sweep of the playoffs.
While they pieced together the pitching, Mike Napoli led the offense, knocking in a run with a first-inning double and adding a homer in the fourth off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The Jays fought back to tie the game at two in the fifth, but Stroman immediately relinquished the lead when Jason Kipnis launched a solo shot in the sixth. The Indians never looked back.
If they win Tuesday, they can look ahead to the World Series.