Do or die: ALDS Game 3 is must-win for the Indians

Houston Astros advance with strong win, sweep Cleveland Indians

Houston Astros advance with strong win, sweep Cleveland Indians

It's do-or-die for the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, so there's really no bad time to score some runs - but the clock struck at the flawless time Monday afternoon for Francisco Lindor and the Indians.

As the Houston Astros have proved rather emphatically over the past two Major League seasons, they don't need help to win baseball games.

Bauer then walked Yuli Gurriel and Gonzalez, whose two-run double to right broke a tie in Game 2, followed with his double to left to make it 4-2 and force Indians manager Terry Francona to change pitchers again.

Mike Clevinger gave Francona a terrific outing - five strong innings before Bauer entered.

The Astros will now wait for the Boston-New York victor for a shot to play for another championship. Francona said his pregame message to his players was to focus on "small samples" and he drove it home by channeling Yogi Berra.

Springer, who struck out on three pitches in his first two at-bats against Clevinger, got him the third time and drove the first pitch into the left-field bleachers to tie it 1-all. George Springer hit two home runs - his ninth and 10th career postseason dingers - to officially take the franchise lead in that category. After hitting just three home runs in the final 1 1/2 months of the regular season, Springer went deep three times against Cleveland.

Houston won't know its ALCS opponent until the Yankees and Red Sox complete their series, which is tied 1-1 ahead of Monday night's critical Game 3 in the Bronx.

Francona has been on both sides of postseason deficits.

But three Houston runs in the seventh and six more in the eighth put an end to that and cleared the stands rather quickly.

"As long as you're still breathing, you're still breathing", he said.

Never mind two of them.

All of the Astros' games during the ALDS were matinees.

Francona said center fielder Leonys Martin has made significant progress following his battle with a life-threatening illness.

Martin, who has been in contact with his teammates, posted a photo on Twitter of himself wearing an Indians jersey.

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