"We knew that we could do this, where we could piece together bullpen arm by bullpen arm and go one inning, two innings and still get a win", Kipnis said. "I don't know, but it's awesome that it's here". "I would imagine it's the game of his life". Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins and team president Mark Shapiro have several issues to address to take Toronto back to the World Series for the first time since 1993. In Game 5, Cleveland will start Ryan Merritt, who has pitched just 11 innings in the majors, against Marco Estrada. And when Kipnis led off the sixth with a home run to right-center field, Cleveland went up 3-2 and was suddenly just a few outs from being able to turn the game over to Allen and Miller.
"I thought we battled pretty good today, with the bats", Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Naturally, when you score, which we haven't been doing, it always looks good".
While the Blue Jays live to fight again, the challenge in front of them remains the sporting equivalent of scaling Mount Everest.
Sanchez threw 28 curveballs in six innings, one shy of his season high for any start in 2016. Merritt struck out three and conceded just two hits in the effort.
Kluber was starting on three days' rest for the first time in his career. "I think that came through in interviews leading up to today". "It's hard for me to take".
And as James wrote in his caption, "Next, Stop World Series!". Trouble was they hardly ever had a chance to preserve a lead.
For Donaldson, the home run to jumpstart the team and this victory had to feel especially rewarding, given how he's figured into the end of his team's playoff runs during the past two seasons.
Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and his preferred catcher Josh Thole, utility infielder Darwin Barney, outfielder Michael Saunders, relief pitchers Gavin Floyd, Jason Grilli, Joaquin Benoit, Scott Feldman, Brett Cecil, and catcher Dioner Navarro also have expiring deals.
Carlos Santana crushed a solo home run to right in the third. "It's not like I haven't heard (Bautista) ever say anything before", he said with a laugh.
The Indians didn't have another baserunner after that.
After being counted out by most of the baseball world, the Indians have their first American League pennant since 1997. The 2007 Colorado Rockies and 2014 Kansas City Royals both did it.
Enter the stingy Cleveland relievers, who pitched the Indians to a Division Series sweep over Boston and have them on the verge of another.
"This is awesome. It's tough for them to pick a guy and trust him to go out there that hasn't had much experience".
Bautista was first to test the fresh-faced rookie and promptly grounded out to third as Merritt retired the first 10 batters he faced. For now, the Jays earn themselves one more trip to the ballpark tomorrow.
Bautista, who turned 36 Wednesday, and the 33-year-old Encarnacion may have been playing for the Blue Jays for the final time.
The words came out of the mouth of ALCS MVP Andrew Miller, but they could have been from any one of 24 other members of the Cleveland Indians.