Cleveland 6, Chi. Cubs 0
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report) – Indians manager Terry Francona saw Corey Kluber pitch like this before, and as usual, it meant a happy ending for Cleveland. Kluber threw six-plus stellar innings, and Cleveland’s vaunted bullpen took it from there as the Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series at Progressive Field.
“In the playoffs,” Francona said, “he’s been as good as we’ve needed him to be.”
That’s pretty good. In four postseason starts this year, Kluber is 3-1 with a 0.74 ERA.
Roberto Perez hit two homers and drove in four runs in the first Game 1 of a World Series ever played in Cleveland.
Perez slugged a solo home run in the fourth inning and added a three-run blast in the eighth, becoming the first Indians player in history to hit two home runs in a World Series game. After hitting three home runs in 61 games in the regular season, Perez has three in nine games in the postseason.
“I just went up there and tried to control my emotions, get on base and make something happen,” Perez said. “I’ve never had a night like that.”
World Series Game One
Perez joined Gary Carter (1986), Johnny Bench (1976), Gene Tenace (1972) and Yogi Berra (1956) as the only catchers to hit multiple homers in a World Series game.
Indians pitchers have combined to pitch 18 consecutive scoreless innings. Cleveland shut out Toronto 3-0 in the fifth and final game of the American League Championship Series.
Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez had three hits each for the Indians, who improved to 8-1 in the postseason.
Andrew Miller followed Kluber to the mound and pitched two scoreless innings. Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth. The three Cleveland pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts and two walks, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn’t discouraged.
“I know we had 15 punchouts, but I still liked the quality of our at-bats,” Maddon said. “Kluber was good. He gets such great movement in both directions with his cutter and his comebacker. He was hitting his edges. He pitched well. You’ve got to give him credit.”
With Cleveland leading 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Brandon Guyer drew a two-out walk, and Lonnie Chisenhall singled off Justin Grimm. Hector Rondon relieved Grimm, and Perez greeted Rondon by slamming a hanging breaking ball into the left field bleachers for a three-run homer.
“What he did at the plate tonight, oh my goodness,” Francona said of Perez. “That was exciting to watch.”
Kluber allowed four hits and no walks while fanning nine — an Indians record for strikeouts in a World Series game.
“I just try to go out and get outs as quick as I can,” said Kluber, who with Cleveland’s injury-depleted starting rotation may be asked to make three starts should the Series go seven games. It’s all about getting four wins before they do,” he said, who struck out eight of the first 11 batters he faced. “If that means pitching on short rest, I’m more than willing to do that.”
Cubs starter Jon Lester pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
“He wasn’t at the top of his game, but he gave us a chance to win,” Maddon said.
Kluber was removed from the game, leading 3-0, after giving up a leadoff single to Ben Zobrist in the seventh inning. Miller came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who walked on a 3-2 pitch. Javier Baez followed by lining an 0-2 pitch to left field for a single, loading the bases with no outs.
Willson Contreras, pinch-hitting for Chris Coghlan, flied out to center field, too shallow for the runner from third to score. Miller then struck out Addison Russell on three pitches, and he struck out David Ross on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
In the eighth, the Cubs got a walk and a single to put runners at first and third with two outs, but Miller struck out Schwarber on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Lester retired the first two batters he faced before running into trouble. Lindor singled and stole second. Mike Napoli drew a walk, as did Carlos Santana, loading the bases.
Ramirez then hit a dribbler down the third base line into no-man’s land. Third baseman Kris Bryant fielded it but had no play anywhere. Lindor scored, Ramirez reached on an infield single, and the bases remained loaded.
Guyer, who led the American League in each of the past two years in getting hit by pitches, got hit in the leg on an 0-2 pitch, forcing in Napoli with the Indians’ second run.
The Indians made it 3-0 in the fourth inning when Perez hit a one-out fly ball over the left field wall.
NOTES: Cubs C/OF Kyle Schwarber, who had surgery April 7 to repair torn ligaments in his left knee and missed most of the season, was in the lineup for Game 1 of the World Series, batting fifth as the designated hitter. … Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta, who will start Game 2 on Wednesday, has one career start at Progressive Field. In a 14-8 win on Aug. 10, 2010, while pitching for Baltimore, he pitched six innings and gave up five runs. … Indians RHP Trevor Bauer said he is confident his lacerated right pinkie finger that bled profusely and forced him out of his last start in the first inning of Game 3 of the ALCS in Toronto, will hold up better in his scheduled start in Game 2 on Wednesday. … RHP Danny Salazar was added to the Indians’ World Series roster, and RHP Cody Anderson was removed. Salazar, an All-Star this year, hasn’t pitched since Sept. 9 because of tightness in his right forearm.