Chi. Cubs 5, Cleveland 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report) – Kyle Schwarber didn’t need much time to make an impact on the Chicago Cubs’ lineup. In his second game back after early-April knee surgery cost him almost the entire regular season, Schwarber helped the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 Wednesday to even the World Series at one game apiece. Schwarber went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, making him 3-for-7 in the series after he went 0-for-4 in the regular season. He also sat out the Cubs’ earlier playoff-series victories.
“He jacks everybody up,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the 23-year-old slugger who served as the designated hitter in the first two games of the Fall Classic. “It makes your lineup longer. It makes it thicker. It makes it better.”
The best-of-seven series shifts to Chicago for the next three games, starting with Game 3 on Friday night at Wrigley Field.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. In 5 2/3 innings, Arrieta gave up one run on two hits with six strikeouts and three walks. The right-hander thrived on a chilly night at Progressive Field. The game-time temperature was 43 degrees.
“It was so cold I tried to go to the bathroom in the fourth inning and I couldn’t,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona joked.
Arrieta retired the first batter in the sixth inning, but Jason Kipnis doubled to center field, Cleveland’s first hit of the game. Kipnis went to third when Francisco Lindor grounded out, then scored on a wild pitch, cutting Chicago’s lead to 5-1.
“I knew I hadn’t given up a hit into the sixth inning, but that wasn’t the focus of the game for me,” Arrieta said. “I just wanted to pile up as many outs as I could.”
Trevor Bauer started for Cleveland and had a rough and brief outing. In 3 2/3 innings, Bauer threw 87 pitches and gave up two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
“They never let him settle into the game,” Francona said. “You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. As a staff in general, we worked behind in the count too much.”
The Cubs, who were shut out on seven hits by Corey Kluber and two relievers in Game 1 on Tuesday, scored a run in the first inning of Game 2, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason by Cleveland pitchers.
“That’s our goal,” Maddon said about scoring first. “If you look at this playoff run for everybody, the team that scores first normally has a pretty good advantage”
Ben Zobrist also had two hits for the Cubs, leaving him 5-for-8 in the series.
Bauer was making his first appearance since his aborted start in Toronto in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. In that outing, Bauer threw just 21 pitches and retired only two batters before being removed from the game when his right pinkie finger, lacerated while cleaning a drone, started bleeding profusely. Bauer’s finger appeared fine Wednesday night, but everything else was off.
The Cubs took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kris Bryant singled and scored on a double off the right field wall by Anthony Rizzo.
Bauer gave up another run in a third-inning rally that began with two outs and nobody on base. Bauer got ahead in the count 0-2 to Rizzo but walked him. Zobrist singled, moving Rizzo to second. Schwarber lined a 3-0 pitch into center field, scoring Rizzo and giving Chicago a 2-0 lead.
“I had the green light there,” Schwarber said. “I knew he was going to have to throw a strike, and I got a good pitch to hit.”
Considering his long layoff, Schwarber was a surprise addition to the Cubs’ World Series roster.
“I kept encouraging him for next year,” Maddon said. “We were not expecting him to be ready for the playoffs right now.”
Arrieta said, “I saw him in the training room and weight room four hours a day. To come back and contribute the way he has is remarkable.”
The Cubs blew it open with a three-run fifth inning. With one out, Rizzo drew a walk off reliever Zach McAllister. Zobrist tripled, scoring Rizzo to make it 3-0. Bryan Shaw relieved McAllister and gave up an RBI single to Schwarber to extend the lead to 4-0. Javier Baez struck out, but second baseman Kipnis booted a grounder by Willson Contreras, putting runners at first and third. Jorge Soler walked to load the bases, and Addison Russell also walked, forcing in Schwarber with the Cubs’ fifth run.
NOTES: Indians manager Terry Francona said Game 1 starter Corey Kluber will also start Game 4 and Game 7, if the series goes that far. Francona said one of the reasons he took the right-hander out of Game 1 after 88 pitches was the knowledge that Kluber was going to start Game 4 on short rest. … Francona is the only manager in major league history to win each of his first nine World Series games. … Slumping Cubs RF Jason Heyward came off the bench and went 0-for-2. Manager Joe Maddon started Jorge Soler in right field in Game 2 after starting Chris Coghlan there in Game 1. Heyward is hitting .067 (2-for-30) through 10 postseason games. … Cubs DH Kyle Schwarber’s double in Game 1 made him the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after going hitless in the regular season.