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Cubs force Game 7 after trouncing Indians

CLEVELAND -- Addison Russell's grand slam capped a seven-run assault over the first three innings as the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday to even the World Series at three wins apiece.

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo watches his two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday at Progressive Field. (USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo watches his two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday at Progressive Field. (USA TODAY Sports)

CLEVELAND - Addison Russell's grand slam capped a seven-run assault over the first three innings as the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday to even the World Series at three wins apiece.

The teams will play a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday night at Progressive Field. The Cubs will attempt to become the sixth team in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a World Series.

Kris Bryant had four hits, including a home run, for the Cubs, who capitalized on a huge defensive misplay by the Cleveland outfield, leading to a three-run first inning.

A catchable fly ball hit by Russell that would have been the third out of the inning dropped in safely between center fielder Tyler Naquin and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, allowing two runs to score and giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead that deflated the sellout crowd.

Russell, who was just 4 for 19 (.211) in the first five games of the Series, went 2 for 4 with a home run and a World Series record-tying six RBI.

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Most of the damage came off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin, who was charged with six runs in 2 1/3 innings. Tomlin (0-1) allowed six hits and a walk without striking out a batter.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (2-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings and combined with four relievers on a six-hitter. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.

Bryant, Anthony Rizzo (three hits, home run), Ben Zobrist and Russell were a combined 11 for 19 with three home runs and nine RBI. Jason Kipnis had three hits for the Indians.

Tomlin retired the first two batters of the game, then threw two quick strikes past Bryant. It was all downhill from there for Cleveland.

Bryant hit an 0-2 pitch an estimated 433 feet into the left field bleachers for his second World Series homer in the past two games. Rizzo followed with a line-drive single to center, and Zobrist lined a single to right, putting runners at first and third with two outs.

Russell then hit a routine fly ball. Naquin and Chisenhall converged on the ball, but neither one caught it. The ball dropped between the two miscommunicating fielders for a gift double, scoring Rizzo and Zobrist and giving Chicago a quick 3-0 lead.

The Cubs blew the game open with a four-run third inning. Kyle Schwarber led off the inning with a walk. After Bryant flied out, Rizzo and Zobrist, as they did in the first inning, both singled, loading the bases with one out.

Dan Otero relieved Tomlin, and Russell greeted Otero with a blast into the center field bleachers for the first World Series grand slam in Cubs history. Russell's slam stretched the lead to 7-0.

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Indians pitchers allowed just five runs in the previous three games before giving up seven runs in the first three innings of Game 6.

That was plenty for Arrieta, who held Cleveland scoreless and hitless through the first five innings in his start at Progressive Field in Game 2 of the Series. In Game 6, he held the Indians hitless and scoreless through the first three innings.

In the fourth, Kipnis led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Mike Napoli to make it 7-1. In his next at bat, in the fifth inning, Kipnis belted a solo home run over the left field wall to cut the Cubs' lead to 7-2.

Rizzo hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning off reliever Mike Clevinger. Cleveland added a run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Roberto Perez.

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