Cubs crush In­di­ans to send World Series to Game 7

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The Chicago Cubs set up a win­ner-take-all Game Seven of the World Series by crush­ing the Cleve­land In­di­ans 9-3 on Tues­day to level Ma­jor League Base­ball’s best-of-seven cham­pi­onship.

Fac­ing elim­i­na­tion, reign­ing Cy Young Award win­ner Jake Ar­ri­eta won his se­cond of the series, backed by 22year-old short­stop Ad­di­son Rus­sell, who smashed a grand slam on his way to log­ging a World Series record­ty­ing six runs bat­ted in.

An­thony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, who had four hits, also home­red for Chicago, who erupted for 13 hits off six In­di­ans pitch­ers. The vic­tory kept alive the Cubs’ quest of win­ning their first Fall Clas­sic ti­tle in 108 years, and for the se­cond time in as many games Chicago put on hold Cleve­land’s cel­e­bra­tion of a first World Series crown since 1948.

“Any­body who plays this game grows up dream­ing of win­ning a World Series,” said Bryant, 24. “We get to play in a Game Seven to­mor­row, that’s pretty spe­cial.”

One of the teams will end their drought on Wed­nes­day, but Cleve­land fans who came to cel­e­brate a Game Six clincher on an un­usu­ally warm night were de­flated and left the ball­park early as the Cubs romped.

“It’s OK,” said Leah Ho­heaverger, who left be­fore the end of the eighth in­ning as fans streamed out of Pro­gres­sive Field. “We are used to be­ing the un­der­dogs.”

Ar­ri­eta pitched 5-2/3 in­nings, giv­ing up three hits and two runs, strik­ing out nine in reg­is­ter­ing the win helped by four re­liev­ers.

The des­per­ate Cubs en­tered the game with a team bat­ting av­er­age of .210 with only 10 runs in the first five games and were shut out twice.

But the Na­tional League cham­pi­ons, who led the ma­jors with 103 wins in the reg­u­lar sea­son, quickly turned the game into a laugher with two big in­nings.

The Cubs roared out of the gate with three runs in the first, two com­ing on a huge gaffe by Cleve­land out­field­ers. Bryant crushed a hang­ing curve from los­ing pitcher Josh Tom­lin to left-cen­ter for a two-out home run. An­thony Rizzo and Ben Zo­brist lined sin­gles be­fore Rus­sell slapped a pop fly that cen­ter-fielder Tyler Naquin and right-fielder Lon­nie Chisen­hall al­lowed to drop be­tween them in a com­mu­ni­ca­tion lapse.

Rizzo trot­ted home and Zo­brist charged around the bases, bowl­ing over Roberto Perez to score.

“In the reg­u­lar sea­son, crowd noise is not that loud,” se­cond base­man Kip­nis ex­plained. “It’s tough when you have to keep look­ing up and down to see who is wav­ing you off.”

Rus­sell fully earned his next four RBIs. The short­stop rocked a grand slam over the wall in cen­ter to score Kyle Sch­war­ber, Rizzo and Zo­brist ahead of him to make it 7-0. The bases-loaded blast gave Rus­sell six RBIs for the game, which tied him with Bobby Richard­son (1960), Hideki Mat­sui (2009) and Al­bert Pu­jols (2011) for most in a World Series game. Cleve­land got their first hit and first run in the fourth when Kip­nis dou­bled and scored on Mike Napoli’s sin­gle. Kip­nis home­red in the fifth to make it 7-2.

A two-run shot by Rizzo in the ninth and a last-gasp run by Cleve­land closed out the con­test.

Game Seven will be played in Cleve­land on Wed­nes­day with the In­di­ans start­ing ace Corey Klu­ber, win­ner of two games al­ready this series, against Chicago’s Kyle Hen­dricks, the Na­tional League ERA leader.

“It’s Game Seven,” said In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona. “You’ve got two re­ally, re­ally good pitch­ers, and it will be ex­cit­ing. It’s an honor to even be a part of it, and we’re go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing we have.” —Reuters

CLEVE­LAND: Ja­son Kip­nis #22 of the Cleve­land In­di­ans hits a solo home run dur­ing the fifth in­ning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Pro­gres­sive Field on Tues­day in Cleve­land, Ohio. — AFP

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