The Chicago Cubs kept alive their World Series hopes by beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 in a chilly Game Five at Wrigley Field on Sunday and send the best-of-seven Fall Classic to a sixth game.
The Indians now lead the series 3-2 as Chicago’s previously quiet bats came to life in the fourth inning with three runs, sparked by a home run from Kris Bryant.
The four hits that followed allowed the Cubs to hold on to the dream of winning their first World Series in 108 years.
On the brink of elimination, Cubs ace Jon Lester turned in a strong six innings to reignite roars from the home crowd and reliever Aroldis Chapman did a fine job in registering the last eight outs to preserve the must win.
“It didn’t feel like an elimination game,” said Bryant, whose home run gave him his first RBI of the series. “Jon doing his thing, Chapman coming in for eight outs. That was an unbelievable win.”
Rizzo, who followed Bryant’s blast with a double off the wall, had a different take on the mounting tension in the win-or-go-home thriller.
“High anxiety and a lot of deep breaths,” Rizzo said about the pressure. “Every pitch gets bigger and bigger as the game goes on.”
Lester, who yielded two runs on four hits while striking out five, registered the victory. Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer took the loss, his second of the Series.
It did not go well early for Chicago as Jose Ramirez belted a homer off Lester in the second to put Cleveland ahead.
But the Cubs fired up a subdued crowd with Bryant’s home run that tied it in the fourth before Rizzo doubled, advanced on Ben Zobrist’s single and scored on an infield hit by Addison Russell.
After a bunt single by Javier Baez, David Ross drove in the third run with a sacrifice fly.
Francisco Lindor singled home Rajai Davis for the Indians in the sixth to make it 3-2 before Chapman arrived to shut the door.
Game Six will take place at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday night.