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Indians up 2-1 on Crisp 7th inning RBI.
CHICAGO (AP) – Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and the Cleveland Indians’ nasty bullpen shut down a Wrigley Field party 71 years in the making.
Allen escaped a ninth-inning jam and the Indians set a major league record with their fifth shutout this postseason, holding off the Chicago Cubs 1-0 Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series.
The crowd began forming beyond the ivy-covered walls in the early morning, all revved up for the first Series game at Wrigley since 1945.
Fans were roaring after a two-out error by first baseman Mike Napoli helped Chicago put runners on second and third in the ninth. Allen silenced the neighborhood ballpark, striking out co-NL Championship Series MVP Javier Baez to end it.
“We know we’re going to have our hands full to beat these guys, and tonight was a good example,” manager Terry Francona said. “I mean, that was as close a ballgame as you’re ever going to find, and we found a way to manage to win that game.”
Pinch-hitter Coco Crisp hit an RBI single in the seventh off Carl Edwards Jr. And that was all Cleveland needed.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin went 4 2/3 innings with his dad Jerry watching from the stands in a wheelchair just two months after circulatory malformation left him paralyzed from the chest down. Miller, Bryan Shaw and Allen took over.
The Cubs have been blanked four times in the last eight games this postseason. Their first 1-0 loss in the World Series since Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox beat them in 1918 came on a night when the wind was blowing out.
“I actually told Miller we were going to win 1-0 tonight,” Napoli said. “Everything you saw on the TV was the wind was blowing out and there’s going to be a bunch of runs scored. … I turned to him and was like, ‘We’re going to win 1-0 tonight.’”
Cleveland now has a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead with ace Corey Kluber starting Game 4 on short rest Saturday and coming off a dominant performance in the opener. John Lackey pitches for Chicago.
Not since they dropped Game 7 against Detroit in 1945 had the Cubs hosted a World Series game. The last time they won one? That was two days earlier when they beat the Tigers in 12 innings.
Decades of disappointment and curses gave way to a major league-leading 103 wins and hope for the Cubs that their first championship since 1908 is on the way.
But just as they did against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, they will have to rally from a 2-1 deficit if they are finally going to win it all.
“We have seen good pitching,” manager Joe Maddon said.