Cubs keep World Series hopes alive
CHICAGO--Aroldis Chapman worked a season-high 2 2/3 innings in relief to preserve a one-run lead as the Chicago Cubs stayed alive in the World Series with a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 on Sunday.
CHICAGO-Aroldis Chapman worked a season-high 2 2/3 innings in relief to preserve a one-run lead as the Chicago Cubs stayed alive in the World Series with a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 on Sunday.
The Cubs, who were facing elimination, now trail 3-2 as the World Series shifts back to Cleveland for Game 6 on Tuesday. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Wednesday in Cleveland.
Chapman struck out four, including a strikeout of Jose Ramirez for the final out to secure his fourth postseason save.
The World Series victory was the Cubs' first at Wrigley Field since Oct. 8, 1945. Chicago denied the Indians' bid to clinch their first World Series championship since 1948.
Cubs starter Jon Lester improved to 3-1 in the postseason (1-1 in the World Series) after allowing two runs over six innings. Indians starter Trevor Bauer (0-2 in the series and the postseason) gave up three runs in a four-inning outing.
Cleveland cut a two-run Chicago lead in half the sixth off Lester as Francisco Lindor's two-out base hit to center scored Rajai Davis.
In the seventh, Mike Napoli reached on a leadoff single off reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and advanced to second on a passed ball. The Cubs then turned to Chapman, who closed the inning without any scoring.
Chapman struck out Yan Gomes to open the eighth but was out of position when first baseman Anthony Rizzo stopped a Davis grounder down the line but had no one to throw it to. Davis, the potential tying run, then stole second with one out and third with two gone. However, Chapman ended the threat by striking out Lindor looking.
Lester struck out the side-all swinging-in a 13-pitch first inning.
Ramirez gave the Indians a 1-0 lead by hitting a two-out home run to left on an 0-1 pitch. It was his first home run of the postseason.
Kris Bryant matched it in the fourth with a leadoff home run to left, his second of the postseason, as the Cubs started to rough up Bauer in what turned into a three-run fourth.
Rizzo followed with a first-pitch double off the right-field wall and advanced to third on Ben Zobrist's single to right on a 3-0 offering.
Addison Russell reached base with a weak infield grounder and drove in Rizzo for a 2-1 lead. Javier Baez then loaded the bases with a well-placed one-out bunt down the third base line and David Ross' sacrifice to left brought home Zobrist to make it 3-1.
Cleveland threatened in the fifth when Santana doubled and reached third on a Ramirez ground out to short. However, Lester got Brandon Guyer on a called third strike on a 3-2 count and Roberto Perez grounded to third to end the inning.
The Cubs also had a pair of alert defensive plays.
Ross chased a Carlos Santana foul popup near the Indians dugout in the second inning thee ball tipped off his glove as he tumbled into a railing. Rizzo was there to grab the loose ball before it hit the ground for an out.
In the third, Jason Heyward made an acrobatic catch along the right field wall on Bauer's fly.
Sunday's game time temperatures hovered in the lower 50s and fell into the 40s as the game progressed. Breezes from the northeast off Lake Michigan made it feel even chillier.
NOTES: Sunday marked the fifth time the Indians led a best-of-seven postseason series 3-1. They went on to win the series in three of four previous instances, including a 2016 ALCS triumph over Toronto. ... Indians SS Francisco Lindor is the seventh player age 22 or younger to have three multi-hit World Series games. He had two hits on Saturday and went 1-for-4 on Sunday, giving him 18 hits in the postseason. ... Despite Sunday's win-or-be-finished scenario, Cubs manager Joe Maddon made no special motivational speeches to his team. "I really don't believe in that speech thing working," he said. ... Chicago LHP Jon Lester made his fifth start this postseason on Sunday, a team single-season record.