Indians, Blue Jays open with wins

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The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays opened their respective American League (AL) Division Series with wins.

The manner of Thursday's series-opening victories could hardly have been more different, with the Indians edging the Boston Red Sox 5-4.

There were six solo homers hit, with Jason Kipnis going three-for-four with two RBIs for the Indians.

The Blue Jays were far more comfortable as they thrashed the Texas Rangers 10-1.

Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run triple in the third inning as the Blue Jays got the better of Cole Hamels.

The Rangers pitcher gave up six hits and as many earned runs in 3.1 innings, while Marco Estrada pitched strongly for the Blue Jays.



Trevor Bauer allowed 15 home runs at home this season, tied for 12th most in the AL, but Thursday it was the Red Sox's Rick Porcello who surrendered the long ball, looking nothing like the Cy Young Award candidate he was during the regular season. Porcello gave up homers to Roberto Perez, Kipnis and Francisco Lindor in the third, marking the first time in his career he has given up three homers in an inning.

Hamels was the undoubted ace of the Rangers rotation, winning 15 games with 200 strikeouts in just over 200 innings and a 3.32 ERA during the regular season. But Hamels was not himself down the stretch, and his struggles caught up with him at the wrong time on Thursday.

With an RBI single in the third inning and a three-run homer in the ninth that gave Toronto a 10-run lead, Jose Bautista has been a force for the Jays through two games. But as far as any fallout from Rougned Odor's punch to the veteran's jaw back in May, the two teams remained restrained.



Tulowitzki blew the game wide open, but Ian Desmond, a shortstop-turned-outfielder, appeared to pull back his glove as he approached the warning track in center field.


Aces duel as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) takes on the Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), who has not lost since August 9. Nationals All-Stars Bryce Harper (thumb) and Daniel Murphy (buttocks) feature in their first meaningful game since playing sparingly in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Coming off an exciting wildcard win over the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants send Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) to the mound to take on the World Series favourites, the Chicago Cubs. Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) toes the rubber for the Cubs looking to lower his 2.85 career postseason ERA.