INDIANS1, CUBS 0:
Indians blank Cubs in Series’ return to Wrigley
For the second time in four days, Cleveland pitchers hold Chicago scoreless, giving the Indians a 2-1 advantage in the World Series.
Cody Allen escaped a ninth-inning jam and the Cleveland Indians pitched their fifth shutout this postseason, holding off the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, Friday night for a 2-1 lead as the World Series returned to Wrigley Field for the first time since 1945.
The Cubs put runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth before Allen struck out Javier Baez to end the game.
Pinch-hitter Coco Crisp hit an RBI single in the seventh for the lone run.
The Cubs have been blanked four times in the past eight games this postseason.
CHICAGO — This city waited 71 years for the World Series to return to Wrigley Field.
It will have to wait another day, at the earliest, to see the Cubs score a run in a Series game at home.
For the second time in four days, the Indians tossed a shutout, this one a 1-0 Game 3 victory that gave them a 2-1 edge in the series. Pinch hitter Coco Crisp hit the go-ahead RBI single for Cleveland in the seventh and Indians relievers recorded the last 13 outs.
And the team can sit pretty, knowing ace Corey Kluber will start for them in Game 4 on Saturday.
The conditions appeared idyllic for hitters — the temperature sat in the low 60s and a southern wind blew across the park at 14 mph upon the first pitch. Yet the two teams traded zeros.
Both starting pitchers benefited from the expansive strike zone of umpire John Hirschbeck. Willing to call strikes on the lower edge of the plate’s outer half, Hirschbeck allowed Kyle Hendricks and Josh Tomlin to rush through the first four innings.
Hendricks hit a wall in the fifth. He gave up a leadoff single to outfielder Tyler Naquin. After a sacrifice by Tomlin, Hendricks walked Carlos Santana and drilled Jason Kipnis with a fastball, which loaded the bases and forced Cubs manager Joe Maddon to open up his bullpen.
Maddon chose righthanded reliever Justin Grimm to face Francisco Lindor, the Indians’ slickfielding shortstop and No. 3 hitter. Grimm showed little interest in giving Lindor a fastball. He flung five curveballs and Lindor pounded the last toward Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, who started an inning-ending double play.
Tomlin could not finish the fifth either. A leadoff single by outfielder Jorge Soler supplied some pressure. Tomlin responded with a pair of outs, but as Maddon sent catcher Miguel Montero to pinch hit Indians manager Terry Francona countered with left-handed relief ace Andrew Miller. Montero lined out to tantalize the crowd.
The ballpark fell silent in the seventh inning as the Indians broke through.
Roberto Perez, the twohomer hero from Game 1, singled off Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. After a bunt, wild pitch and walk to Rajai Davis, there were runners at the corners with no one out.
It was Miller’s turn to bat after he was double-switched into the game in the place of Santana, the leadoff hitter. Francona chose Crisp to hit for Miller. Edwards had been erratic, but Maddon stuck with him. Crisp pulled a fastball into right to put his team ahead with an RBI single.
The Cubs received a gift in the seventh. Soler lofted a two-out fly ball down the right-field line that converted infielder Lonnie Chisenhall misplayed. Soler galloped into third.
The ballpark lit up at the gaffe, but the optimism did not last long. Bryan Shaw, another member of Francona’s vaunted bullpen, missed Baez’s barrel with a 2-0 cutter and Baez hit a harmless ground to strand Soler.
Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Rajai Davis celebrate the win at Wrigley Field.
Javier Baez walks toward the dugout after striking out to end Game 3 of the World Series Friday night at Wrigley Field.