World Series: Cubs fight off Indians to force Game 6 in Cleveland
The World Series is headed back to Cleveland.
Kris Bryant hit a solo home run and the Cubs pushed two other runs across in a three-run fourth, then fought off several Indians threats to win Game 5 3-2 and cut Cleveland's lead in the series to the same margin.
Jon Lester got the start for Chicago and responded to the pressure by striking out the side in the first inning. Jose Ramirez hit a solo home run for the Indians in the second to open the scoring.
But the Cubs responded in the fourth to give Lester a lead, and he rolled into the sixth inning with the two-run cushion. The Indians got one back there on a two-out RBI single from Francisco Lindor.
The Cubs went to the bullpen in the seventh, and after Carl Edwards Jr. gave up a single and got one out, manager Joe Maddon opted to go to his lights-out closer Aroldis Chapman early. Chapman went the final 2 2/3 to get the extended save.
It wasn't without adventure. The Indians had runners in scoring position in both the seventh and eighth innings, but failed to score. A 1-2-3 ninth ended the game.
Trevor Bauer — he of the injured-finger-via-drone — got the start for Cleveland and matched Lester over the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. After Bryant's home run, Anthony Rizzo hit the next pitch off the right-field wall for a double. Ben Zobrist followed with a single to move Rizzo to third, then Addison Russell hit an infield single to score Rizzo. After Jason Heyward struck out, Javier Baez bunted for a single to load the bases. David Ross then hit what proved to be a very important sacrifice fly, plating Zobrist for the eventual game-winning run.
Game 6 is Tuesday night, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Start it up. pic.twitter.com/6MALK0JrIE
— MLB (@MLB) October 31, 2016