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Blue Jays vs. Indians: Game 2 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 MLB Playoffs

The Cleveland Indians again rode Andrew Miller's left arm, along with strong starting pitching by Josh Tomlin and timely hitting by Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor, to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday and a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.

Cleveland's postseason formula has been to take an early lead and let the starting pitching hold down the fort before turning it over to Miller and Cody Allen for roughly nine outs.

Saturday started out well for the Tribe, with Santana ripping a laser over the wall in left field for a 1-0 lead in the second inning against Toronto starter J.A. Happ.

Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the right side was not Santana's power side during the regular season:

After being shut out by Corey Kluber on Friday, the Blue Jays did not want to go quietly in Game 2, responding in the top of the third inning against Tomlin.

Darwin Barney, who started at second base after Devon Travis re-aggravated a knee injury in Game 1, singled with one out. He moved to second on a groundout by Ezequiel Carrera and scored on Josh Donaldson's double.

The opposite-field double also moved Donaldson to the top of the Blue Jays' record book, per StatsCentre:'s Buster Olney provided a look at where the reigning AL MVP's hits have gone in October:

Tomlin battled through the third inning, throwing 24 pitches before working his way out of trouble with just one run crossing the plate.

As they have done throughout the postseason, the Indians wasted no time responding.

After reaching first base on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the inning, Rajai Davis proceeded to steal second base and then took third on a wild pitch by Happ.

With two outs, Lindor, who was the hero with a two-run homer in the sixth inning Friday and singled in his first at-bat Saturday, gave the Indians a 2-1 lead with an RBI single.

Per Baseball Tonight, Lindor is getting accustomed to multihit games in the playoffs:

Jonah Keri of CBS Sports believes many people have found their new favorite baseball player based on early returns in October:

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal noticed one thing three of the four remaining playoff teams have in common:

With the lead, Cleveland manager Terry Francona opted to let Tomlin pitch into the sixth inning against Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista for the third time. He retired Donaldson and Encarnacion quickly before walking Bautista.

Francona then went to his bullpen, ending Tomlin's day after 5.2 innings in which he allowed three hits and one run with six strikeouts and two walks.

Tomlin's success since Sept. 1 has helped Cleveland get by without Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Zack Meisel of shared the numbers:

The key to Tomlin's success on Saturday was his ability to generate ground balls, per Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs:

Because Miller threw 31 pitches in Game 1, Bryan Shaw relieved Tomlin and got Troy Tulowitzki to end the potential threat in the sixth.

Miller came out to start the seventh inning, striking out the side on 15 pitches before recording two more punchouts in the eighth inning, adding to his postseason legend in the process.

T.J. Zuppe of 92.3 The Fan tried to illustrate Miller's postseason dominance with numbers:

Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports took a different approach to illustrating what happens when Miller is on the mound:

You run out of words at some point with Miller, because this level of dominance is not supposed to happen, particularly in October against the best teams in baseball.

Just as he did Friday, Allen came on to relieve Miller in the ninth inning. Cleveland's closer did his best imitation of Miller by striking out Encarnacion and Bautista before Tulowitzki flew out to center field to end the game.

This is what the Indians needed to happen. They were brilliant at home during the regular season, with a 53-28 record, and have yet to lose in four games at Progressive Field in the postseason.

The Blue Jays are down, but they are far from out in the ALCS. Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez will start Games 3 and 4 at Rogers Centre on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, while the Indians will counter with an injured Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger.

Toronto's fans are going to be loud with support for their team. The Blue Jays need to get their offense going, but with the pitching advantage in each of the next two games, they have a chance to extend the series.



Postgame Reaction

As was the case on Friday, Miller became the main talking point after Game 2 for his dominant two-inning effort against the Blue Jays. 

"There's a reason we gave up what we did for him," Francona said, per's Jordan Bastian and Gregor Chisholm. "We thought that he could be a guy that we could leverage in situations like we have. And it would make our bullpen that much better and give us a chance to keep playing. And that's exactly what he's doing."

It would be easy to keep singing the praises of Miller, but the Indians don't get a chance to use him without Tomlin shutting down the Blue Jays for nearly six full innings. 

Per's Anthony Castrovince, Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis called Tomlin a guy who is "easy to root for" because "he's had to work for all 89 mph on that fastball."

The Blue Jays aren't in a full-blown panic facing a 2-0 series deficit, just as they did last year against the Kansas City Royals, but manager John Gibbons is aware the sense of urgency is increasing. 

"Our back's against the wall," Gibbons said, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of "That's pretty obvious."

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