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Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs slam Cleveland Indians, force Game 7

By
Jim Ingraham, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (R) hugs second baseman Javier Baez after beating the Cleveland Indians in game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on November 1, 2016. Chicago ties the series at 3-3 defeating Cleveland 9-3. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (R) hugs second baseman Javier Baez after beating the Cleveland Indians in game 6 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on November 1, 2016. Chicago ties the series at 3-3 defeating Cleveland 9-3. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND -- Addison Russell's grand slam capped a seven-run assault over the first three innings as the Chicago Cubs rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday to even the World Series at three wins apiece.

The teams will play a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday night at Progressive Field. The Cubs will attempt to become the sixth team in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a World Series.

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Kris Bryant had four hits, including a home run, for the Cubs, who capitalized on a huge defensive misplay by the Cleveland outfield, leading to a three-run first inning.

A catchable fly ball hit by Russell that would have been the third out of the inning dropped in safely between center fielder Tyler Naquin and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, allowing two runs to score and giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead that deflated the sellout crowd.

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Russell, who was just 4-for-19 (.211) in the first five games of the Series, went 2-for-4 with a home run and a World Series record-tying six RBI.

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Most of the damage came off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin, who was charged with six runs in 2 1/3 innings. Tomlin (0-1) allowed six hits and a walk without striking out a batter.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (2-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings and combined with four relievers on a six-hitter. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.

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Bryant, Anthony Rizzo (three hits, home run), Ben Zobrist and Russell were a combined 11-for-19 with three home runs and nine RBIs. Jason Kipnis had three hits for the Indians.

Tomlin retired the first two batters of the game, then threw two quick strikes past Bryant. It was all downhill from there for Cleveland.

Bryant hit an 0-2 pitch an estimated 433 feet into the left field bleachers for his second World Series homer in the past two games. Rizzo followed with a line-drive single to center, and Zobrist lined a single to right, putting runners at first and third with two outs.

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Russell then hit a routine fly ball. Naquin and Chisenhall converged on the ball, but neither one caught it. The ball dropped between the two miscommunicating fielders for a gift double, scoring Rizzo and Zobrist and giving Chicago a quick 3-0 lead.

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The Cubs blew the game open with a four-run third inning. Kyle Schwarber led off the inning with a walk. After Bryant flied out, Rizzo and Zobrist, as they did in the first inning, both singled, loading the bases with one out.

Dan Otero relieved Tomlin, and Russell greeted Otero with a blast into the center field bleachers for the first World Series grand slam in Cubs history. It also was the first grand slam ever given up by an Indians pitcher in a World Series. Russell's slam stretched the lead to 7-0.

The most recent World Series grand slam was hit by Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox one against the Houston Astros in Game 2 in 2005.

Indians pitchers allowed just five runs in the previous three games before giving up seven runs in the first three innings of Game 6.

That was plenty for Arrieta, who held Cleveland scoreless and hitless through the first five innings in his start at Progressive Field in Game 2 of the Series. In Game 6, he held the Indians hitless and scoreless through the first three innings.

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In the fourth, Kipnis led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Mike Napoli to make it 7-1. In his next at bat, in the fifth inning, Kipnis belted a solo home run over the left field wall to cut the Cubs' lead to 7-2.

Rizzo hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning off reliever Mike Clevinger. Cleveland added a run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Roberto Perez.

NOTES: Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber, unable to play in the field in the three games in Wrigley Field following early season knee surgery, was in the lineup batting second as the DH in Game 6. ... Indians pitchers came into Game 6 having struck out eight or more batters in 14 consecutive postseason games, dating back to the 2013 AL wild-card game. It was the longest such streak in postseason history, but it ended Tuesday. ... Indians SS Francisco Lindor, who went 0-for-3, has 18 hits in the postseason, two shy of Sandy Alomar's Cleveland record for most hits in a postseason. Alomar, the Indians' current first base coach, set the mark in 1997. ... Dennis Martinez, who won 12 games for the 1995 AL champion Indians, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 6.

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