With the Indians a win away from their first title since 1948, Chicago’s offense finally came to life at Wrigley Field in the fourth to extend the series to a Game 6. The Cubs sent eight to the plate in the fourth and scored three times to take command with a 3-1 lead. Limited to just 13 hits through the first 21 innings at Wrigley, Chicago put together five hits in the fourth. The biggest hit was the first, a Kris Bryant solo homer. He opened the inning by lining a 1-2 pitch from Trevor Bauer over the wall in left-center to tie the game. Anthony Rizzo doubled to the wall in right on the next pitch and Ben Zobrist followed with a singled to right on a 3-0 pitch to put runners on the corners. Rizzo scored when Addison Russell chopped one to third and beat it for an infield single. Bauer struck out Jason Heyward, who chased a ball in the dirt, before Javier Baez dropped a perfect bunt down the third-base line to load the bases. David Ross hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Zobrist for a 3-1 lead before Bauer got out of the inning.
FOR STARTERS …
Better Bauer … for awhile
Bauer pitched about as well as the Indians could hope the first three innings. But the second time through the order is when things unraveled and the Cubs hit him with a three-run fourth. Bauer, who was shaky from the outset in his Game 2 start, struck out the first two Cubs on Sunday and allowed just one hit the first time through the order, throwing 45 pitches. But in the fourth, one of the opening strikeout victims, Bryant, homered to get the Cubs going. Four more hits in the inning produced the other two runs. Bauer’s final line was four innings, seven strikeouts, no walks and three runs allowed on six hits. He threw 74 pitches.
FROM THE PEN
Another strong night
Three Indians relievers kept the Cubs scoreless the rest of the night. Mike Clevenger pitched the fifth, working around a pair of baserunners. A rested Bryan Shaw struck out the side in the sixth and got the first out of the seventh before manager Terry Francona went to his closer Cody Allen, who finished out the seventh and eighth.
Cubs home W, at last
An amped-up crowd at Wrigley Field waited three nights before finally getting the type of performance they wanted from the home team. The Cubs won a World Series game at Wrigley for the first time since Game 6 of the 1945 Series against Detroit, which won the title in Game 7 at Wrigley two days later. Starter Jon Lester set the tone by striking out the side in the first, though, Jose Ramirez homered off him in the second to give the Tribe the early 1-0 lead. But Bryant’s homer energized the Cubs and their fans. Lester ended up working a strong six innings, giving up just four hits and two runs, walking none and striking out five. Cubs manager Joe Maddon went to his closer, Aroldis Chapman, with one out in the seventh and a runner on second. Chapman, who had allowed four of his previous seven inherited runners to score this postseason, got out of that inning unscathed. He worked around a Rajai Davis single and two steals in the eighth. In the ninth, Chapman retired the side in order to complete his longest appearance ever, 2.2 innings.
NUMBER TO CRUNCH
The Indians’ record this postseason in games where they hit at least one home run, as Sunday became the first one they lost despite the early homer by Jose Ramirez.
Another chance to win it all
Game 6 will be at 8:08 Tuesday night, back at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Josh Tomlin, who pitched well in the 1-0 win at Chicago in Game 3, starts for the Indians. He pitched 4.2 scoreless innings in that start, allowing just two hits and walk with one strikeout. He is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA overall this postseason in 15.1 innings. He was 13-9 with a 4.40 ERA during the season. The Cubs will start Jake Arietta, who no-hit the Indians for 5.1 in a Game 2 win by his team in Cleveland. He allowed just two hits and a run in 5.2 innings in earning the win, striking out six and walking one. Overall this postseason, he is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings with 16 strikeouts after going 18-8 with a 3.58 ERA during the season.
World Series: Breaking down Game 5: Cubs 3, Indians 2