On Merritt: Indians head to World Series, top Jays in ALCS

Cleveland Indians first baseman Mike Napoli celebrates in the locker room after their 3-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The Indians advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Cleveland Indians first baseman Mike Napoli celebrates in the locker room after their 3-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 5 of baseball’s American League Championship Series in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The Indians advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

TORONTO (AP) — A most unlikely pitching performance helped put a most unexpected team into the World Series.

Rookie Ryan Merritt coolly delivered a lead to the Andrew Miller-led bullpen and the Cleveland Indians won their first pennant since 1997, blanking Toronto 3-0 Wednesday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

The Indians will open the World Series at home next Tuesday night against either the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers. They will try to boost what’s already been a magical year in Cleveland after LeBron James and the Cavaliers earned the city’s first sports championship since 1964.


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