TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson homered to give Toronto a long-awaited lead, and the Blue Jays finally broke through with the bats, beating the Cleveland Indians 5-1 on Tuesday to avert a sweep in the AL Championship Series.
The Indians still lead the series 3-1, but Donaldson and a poised Aaron Sanchez handed them their first loss of this postseason. Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run single in the seventh, a welcome sight for a raucous Rogers Centre crowd that had fallen silent watching its team reach the brink of elimination because of a slumbering offense.
Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field off Corey Kluber in the third put the Blue Jays ahead for the first time all series. Sanchez, the American League ERA champion, allowed a run and two hits in six innings, and the bullpen finished with three perfect innings.
Cleveland will try again Wednesday to win to earn its first World Series trip since 1997 when lightly used rookie Ryan Merritt faces Marco Estrada (see full recap).
Dodgers shut out Cubs to take 2-1 series lead
LOS ANGELES -- Rich Hill outpitched reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-0 Tuesday night to take a 2-1 NL Championship Series lead.
After winning a big league high 103 games during the regular season and sparking belief they could win the World Series for the first time since 1908, the Cubs have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time this year, managing just six hits -- five of them singles.
Hill, 14 months removed from independent league ball on Long Island, allowed two hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two. Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finished, giving the Dodgers consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time.
Jose Urias starts Game 4 for the Dodgers on Wednesday and at 20 years, 68 days will become the youngest starting pitcher in postseason history John Lackey starts for the Cubs (see full recap).