If there is a road team celebrating a World Series championship, it won’t be the Cleveland Indians in 2016. The Chicago Cubs held serve at home on Sunday night, beating the Indians, 3-2, in Game 5 to stay alive and force the Fall Classic back to Cleveland for at least one more game.
The Cubs still trail in the series, 3-2, and they trailed in Game 5 early, too.
Jose Ramirez got the ball rolling for the Indians in the second inning by slamming a solo home run to left field against Jon Lester for a 1-0 lead. Ramirez was the eighth different Indians player to hit a home run this postseason in 13 games.
Kris Bryant got things started for Chicago in the fourth inning with a solo home run to tie the score, the start of a five-hit, three-run rally off Indians starter Trevor Bauer that gave Chicago a lead.
Lester helped keep Cleveland at bay with six strong innings, striking out five with no walks while allowing two runs. Lester, pitching in his third World Series, improved to 3-1 this postseason with a 1.93 ERA in five starts.
The Cubs took a page out of the Indians’ playbook, asking closer Aroldis Chapman to record the final eight outs on Sunday, and he was up to the task, stranding runners in the seventh and eighth innings to protect the one-run lead in the longest outing of his career. He needed 42 pitches to complete the save.
Chapman has a 2.08 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings this postseason.
The Indians fell to 8-1 when scoring first this postseason.
The scene shifts to Progressive Field in Cleveland for Game 6. Jake Arrieta starts for the Cubs on Tuesday, needing a win to eve the series. Josh Tomlin is expected to start for the Indians, who after Monday’s off day will have the full support of the Cleveland bullpen to back him up.