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Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays: ALCS Game 5 GameThread

Toronto avoided elimination with a 5-1 win over Cleveland on Tuesday night, and they try to do the same today. Ryan Merritt starts for the Indians against the Blue Jays’ Marco Estrada. GAME TIME: 4:00 PM EDT; FOLLOW: TBS

ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Three Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

With their 5-1 win on Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays avoided elimination and slowed Cleveland’s roll to the World Series. Will the Indians finish the Jays off in Game 5?

Ryan Merritt takes the mound for the second time as a starter in the majors in the Rogers Centre against Marco Estrada as the ALCS continues this afternoon.

Indians’ skipper Terry Francona said he thought Merritt would be up for the challenge.

“I think he's okay,” Francona told reporters.

“He talked to [Pitching Coach Mickey Callaway] a little bit [about] the scouting report this morning, just to give him a chance to watch the game and also digest some of the stuff they talked about. I think he's okay. I think he'll be fine.”

In 24 starts at Triple-A in Cleveland’s system this season, the 24-year-old left-hander was (11-8) with a 3.78 ERA and 3.80 FIP, 23 walks (1.44 BB/9) and 92 Ks (5.78 K/9) in 143 13 innings.

Jays’ skipper John Gibbons was asked yesterday what he knows about the Indians’ lefty.

“What I know about him? He's left-handed. That's all I know right now,” Gibbons said.

Merritt will be facing Marco Estrada in Game 5 after the Blue Jays’ righty tossed a complete game in Game 1 of the ALCS but was saddled with a loss.

Gibbons said he was happy to be able to turn the ball over to his right-hander with the season on the line.

“Really, what he's accomplished two years in the playoffs, it's hard to do,” Gibbons told reporters.

“And he's a different style than most guys. But all I can tell you is I've seen him the last two years when the team needs something he comes through. That can even be during regular season.

“I expect he'll be good tomorrow. It won't be easy but you always expect that really out of all your guys, but he's one guy, you see him doing that time and time again. So the key is, again, we've got to score runs. We do that, we have a better chance. Most teams do. But, yeah, I would expect him to be very, very good.”

Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the ALCS:

Today's Lineups

Carlos Santana - 1B Jose Bautista - RF
Jason Kipnis - 2B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Francisco Lindor - SS Edwin Encarnacion - 1B
Mike Napoli - DH Troy Tulowitzki - SS
Jose Ramirez - 3B Russell Martin - C
Lonnie Chisenhall - RF Melvin Upton Jr. - DH
Coco Crisp - LF Ezequiel Carrera - LF
Tyler Naquin - CF Kevin Pillar - CF
Roberto Perez - C Darwin Barney - 2B
Ryan Merritt - LHP Marco Estrada - RHP