Indians on brink as Blue Jays downed


Toronto (Canada) (AFP)

The Cleveland Indians overcame the loss of starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 and move to the brink of a place in Major League Baseball's World Series.

Bauer was removed with blood dripping from a finger wound after stitches to an injury sustained last week split open in the first inning at the Rogers Center.

But the injury did not prevent the Indians from powering to victory, giving them a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series and leaving them firmly on course for the World Series.

Veteran first baseman Mike Napoli was instrumental in the Cleveland win, doubling off Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman to allow Carlos Santana to open the scoring at the top of the first.

The Blue Jays hit back at the bottom of the second when Michael Saunders smashed a fly ball to left field off Danny Otero to make it 1-1.

Napoli restored Cleveland's advantage at the top of the fourth, smacking a fly ball to center field for another home run off Stroman to make it 2-1.

But Toronto hit back when Ezequiel Carrera scampered through for a triple off a sharp line drive. Carrera then raced over for the score after Ryan Goins ground out off Zach McAllister.

Cleveland regained the lead at the top of the sixth and once again Stroman was the victim, the Blue Jays pitcher going for his third home run of the night with Jason Kipnis hitting a line drive to right center field.

A Jose Ramirez single off Joe Biagini then allowed Napoli to come home for an additional run and make it 4-2 heading into the seventh inning.

Game four in the series takes place in Toronto on Tuesday. The ALCS winner will face either the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.