By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) – Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-game winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.
Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer’s injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.
Bauer’s start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.
Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn’t pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he’s made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.
Meantime, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis sprained his left ankle during a postgame celebration in the AL playoffs, but is expected to be ready for Game 1 of the World Series.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Sunday that Kipnis rolled his ankle last Wednesday when he hugged teammate Francisco Lindor on the field after the final out in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series in Toronto
Francona says he expects Kipnis to be OK for the World Series opener on Tuesday night at home against the Chicago Cubs.
Francona described Kipinis’ injury as a low ankle sprain. He’s confident rest and the adrenaline Kipnis will feel with 37,000 screaming fans in Progressive Field will help him recover.
Kipnis, who is batting just .167 with seven strikeouts so far in the postseason, took some grounders Sunday while being watched by a member of Cleveland’s training staff before the Indians held a team workout.
Kipnis was in the batting cage and not available for interviews during the period Cleveland’s clubhouse was open to the media.
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