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Bauer's healing finger will allow him to start Game 3 of ALCS

TORONTO -- Pitching has dominated the first two games of the American League Championship Series.

The Cleveland Indians have pitched just a little better to lead the series 2-0 over Toronto and have outscored the Blue Jays 4-1.

"It's been the same story, good pitching on both sides," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said on Sunday before his team worked out. "A little offense on both sides. They just got the two home runs, really. And then (Francisco) Lindor has had two big hits in both games. A lot of similarities, but they've been able to plate the runs. Not many of them, but more than we have."

There has been some mystery surrounding Cleveland's starter for Game 3 at Rogers Centre on Monday night.

Right-hander Trevor Bauer was scheduled to start Game 2 before he suffered a 10-stitch cut on the little finger of his right hand while working on his drone.

Josh Tomlin took his place and picked up the win Saturday when Cleveland took the game 2-1 and Bauer will now start Game 3.

"He's been getting treatment the whole time, almost like a pitcher with a blister," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "I really don't think it's going to affect his start one way or the other, whether he gets them out or he doesn't. I don't think this is going to be a big deal."

Bauer (0-0, 5.79 earned-run average in the postseason) will be opposing Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (0-0, 3.00 ERA).

"It's really a non-issue," Bauer said Sunday before Cleveland had its workout. "I've been able to throw normally and stuff."

Bauer will be making his second career postseason start. He allowed five hits, including two home runs, and three runs in 4 2/3 innings and did not factor in the decision of Game 1 in the American League Division Series, a three-game Cleveland sweep of the Boston Red Sox.

Bauer faced Toronto twice this season, going 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. His win came when he pitched five innings in relief July 1 in the 19-inning, 2-1 victory at Rogers Centre that extended Cleveland's winning streak to a club-record 14 games.

He is 1-1 with a 6.27 ERA in four career games (three starts) against Toronto and is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA in two career games at Rogers Centre.

Stroman will be making his second postseason start this year and the fifth of his career. He is 1-0 with a 3.91 in his first four career postseason starts.

He allowed four hits and two runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles in the wild-card game.

Stroman said he is not concerned about the struggles of the Blue Jays' hitters. "I think that's baseball, sometimes you go in spurts," he said. "Our offense is amazing, it's been amazing all year. I count on every single one of those guys to pick me up."

Stroman is 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against Cleveland this season with 15 strikeouts in 14 innings. He is 0-0 with a 3.52 ERA in three career games against Cleveland, including two starts.

The game will be at night with roof likely closed at Rogers Centre and that might help the hitting. The game Saturday was a 4 p.m. start outdoors at Progressive Field.

In discussing how teams have more time to prepare for each postseason series than in the regular season, Francona said, "But, I also think there's other things, too, like when you start at 4:10, you're giving the pitchers a huge advantage. And I understand it. I'm not complaining about it, just the way it is. But if the sun is shining it's difficult. I mean, really tough. So you're going five or six innings where, it doesn't mean you're not going to score, but you're at a disadvantage on offense."

Cleveland left-hander Andrew Miller needs no such advantage. He has been the pitching star of the first two games, striking out five in each of his first two appearances -- working 1 2-3 innings in Game 1 and two innings in Game 2.

"To be honest with you, if he's on there's not a lot you can do with him," Gibbons said. "He's proved that over the last few years. We saw him a little bit with the Yankees. He's got an overpowering fastball and he's got that incredible slider. If he's throwing strikes, there's a lot of swing and misses (on the), disappearing slider."