TORONTO — Five games. Eight runs. Two shutout losses.
A power-laden Toronto Blue Jays lineup fizzled against Cleveland, finishing off a five-game AL Championship Series wipeout with a 3-0 loss Wednesday.
Bidding to return to the World Series for the first time since 1993, the Blue Jays were held to six hits by rookie Ryan Merritt and three relievers in the Indians' second shutout of the series.
Toronto lost in the ALCS for the second straight year, following last year's six-game defeat against eventual champion Kansas City.
"I'm sure there will be some disappointments and grumbling and complaining about how you fell short again, but that's not coming from me," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I know what these guys did, and I think it's a pretty good accomplishment. The key is we want to take that next step one of these days, hopefully it's next year."
An offense led by Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki produced seven extra-base hits in the series — three doubles, two triples and two solo home runs.
Those also were Toronto's final batters in the ninth, with Cody Allen allowing Bautista's leadoff double before getting three straight outs for the save, retiring Donaldson on a game-ending foulout.
Bautista and Encarnacion may have been playing for the Blue Jays for the final time. Both are eligible for free agency.
"We were staring at a playoff drought for a lot of years around here. And they came through for the team last year, the organization. And then repeated it this year," Gibbons said. "They really helped put this team back on the map again, what they've accomplished. And they really — both of them made their name here in Toronto."
Toronto slugged its way past Baltimore in the wild card game, winning on Encarnacion's 11th-inning home run. The Blue Jays swept Texas in the Division Series, outhomering the Rangers 8-2 and outscoring them 22-10.
Bautista's two hits in the finale left him 3 for 18 (.167) with no RBIs in the series, and Encarnacion was 4 for 19 (.211) and drove in two runs. Tulowitzki was 2 for 18 (.111) with no RBIs and Donaldson 6 for 18 (.333) with two RBIs.1 comment on this story
Russell Martin, who chased Merritt with a one-out bloop single in the fifth and advanced on pinch-hitter Michael Saunders's hit — Toronto's only runner to reach scoring position. Reliever Bryan Shaw fanned Ezequiel Carrera and Kevin Pillar.
Toronto's offensive funk was remarkable given the shaky state of Cleveland's starting pitching. Carlos Carrasco (broken hand) and Danny Salazar (forearm) have missed the entire postseason, and right-hander Trevor Bauer left Game 3 after four batters when blood began dripping from his right pinkie, sliced open last week while he repaired a drone.