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Cleveland to start ace Corey Kluber in Game 1 of ALCS

In this Sept. 21, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber delivers against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game in Cleveland.

Ron Schwane/AP

Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against Toronto on Friday.

Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday he'll start Kluber in the opener against the Blue Jays and follow with Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin in Games 2 and 3. Mike Clevinger will likely start Game 4 but will pitch only a few innings.

Kluber pitched seven shutout innings in his post-season debut last week against the Boston Red Sox. He was pitching on 10 days' rest after suffering a strained quadriceps on Sept. 26. The former Cy Young winner showed no ill effects from the injury in limiting the AL East champions to three hits.

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Kluber went 18-9 during the regular season, bouncing back from a 16-loss season in 2015.

Francona has had to adjust his rotation for weeks after losing starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar to injuries.

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