CLEVELAND — The Toronto Blue Jays muscled their way to the American League Championship Series, blasting 10 home runs in four games before meeting the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 on Friday. The teams had played seven games in the regular season, and Toronto had homered in all of them.
“It’s similar to the Red Sox, who we just faced,” said Andrew Miller, the Indians’ relief ace. “These guys know the strike zone so well, and when you miss over the plate, they do a lot of damage. So there’s a fine line. It’s a challenge. It’s something you can smile about and appreciate when you’re done with it.
“But it’s one of those things: You know that they’re going to put their swings on the ball, and they’re going to do some damage. It’s just a matter of trying to limit it.”
The Indians limited it as well as they possibly could on Friday. Corey Kluber, Miller and Cody Allen combined for a 2-0 shutout at Progressive Field, supported by a 412-foot, two-run homer from Francisco Lindor.
The Indians, who are seeking their first World Series title in 68 years, have never been hotter in the postseason. They have won just two championships, in 1920 and 1948, and by sweeping Boston in the division series and taking Game 1 from the Blue Jays, they have tied their franchise record for consecutive postseason victories, with four.
The Blue Jays had a longer winning streak coming into the game, having won their final two in the regular season before blitzing the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers in the playoffs. They managed seven hits on Friday, but went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
“Kluber is one of the elite pitchers in the game…