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Series tied 1-1; on to Wrigley Field.
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Chicago Cubs tasted a World Series game victory for the first time in 71 years by winning 5-1 at Cleveland on Wednesday, squaring Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven title decider at 1-1.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta did not give up a hit in the first five innings to set up a victory that has Chicago in good shape going into three straight home games, starting Friday when Wrigley Field will host its first World Series game since 1945.
“It’s always crazy good,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said when asked the anticipated atmosphere around the venerable ballpark on Chicago’s north side. “But I’d have to imagine a little bit more than that, especially coming back at 1-1. The folks will be jacked up about the win tonight.
“It’s the finest venue there is in professional sports and maybe in all of sports.”
Both teams are aiming to end long World Series droughts: the Indians last won it in 1948 and the Cubs 40 years before that.
Arrieta, who pitched a no-hitter earlier this season, briefly looked on course to do so in a World Series before the Indians came up with two hits and a run, prompting his departure in the seventh.
The big-swinging Kyle Schwarber, who has made it back for the World Series after missing six months with an injured left knee, drove in a run in the third off Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs’ three-run fifth – highlighted by Ben Zobrist’s run-scoring triple.
In Game 1, Schwarber doubled and walked, and looks like his long time out of the game has not hurt him at all.
“No, it’s not that easy, first off. Baseball’s a crazy game,” Schwarber said.
Even the presence of star LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers, sporting their new rings, couldn’t stop the Indians from losing for the first time in six home games this postseason.
And Cleveland manager Terry Francona’s magical touch in October finally fizzled as he dropped to 9-1 in World Series games.
“We gave up nine hits, eight walks, two errors, and we only gave up five runs,” Francona said. “For us to win, we generally need to play a clean game, and we didn’t do that.”
Arrieta’s five hitless innings were the most in a Series game since Jerry Koosman of the New York Mets tossed six in 1969.
His no-hitter bid ended when Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, a die-hard Cubs fan as a kid, doubled with one out in the sixth.
“I knew I hadn’t given up a hit all the way to the sixth,” Arietta said. “That’s really not the focus in a game like this. Whether they get a hit or not really doesn’t affect the way you continue to approach that lineup, especially with a five-run lead.”