Champs at last: Chicago Cubs win first World Series title since 1908

By Jim Ingraham, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 3, 2016 at 1:04 AM
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CLEVELAND -- For the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are the last team standing.

The Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning, then held on to beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 Wednesday night at Progressive Field in a wild seventh game of the World Series.

The Cubs captured their first World Series title since 1908.

The Game 7 loser is now the major league team with the longest World Series drought. Cleveland last won the World Series in 1948.

The Indians took a three-games-to-one lead with a 7-2 win in Game 4 at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs won the last three games of the series, outscoring Cleveland 20-11.

The Cubs are only the sixth team in history to win a World Series after being down 3-1. They are the first team to win Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates did it in Baltimore. Cleveland had the home field advantage in the series but lost three of the four games played at Progressive Field.

With the score tied at 6, and after a 17-minute rain delay, Kyle Schwarber led off the top of the 10th inning with a single off Bryan Shaw (0-1). Albert Almora pinch-ran for Schwarber.

Kris Bryant flied out to deep center field, allowing Almora to move to second. The Indians then intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo. Ben Zobrist lined a double into the left field corner, scoring Almora and moving Rizzo to third.

The Indians intentionally walked Addison Russell, but Miguel Montero foiled that strategy as well by stroking a single to left field to make it 8-6.

Cleveland, refusing to go quietly, scored a run in the bottom of the 10th. With two outs and nobody on base, Brandon Guyer singled off Carl Edwards Jr. and then took second on defensive indifference. Rajai Davis lined a single to center, scoring Guyer to make it 8-7.

Mike Montgomery relieved Edwards and retired Michael Martinez on groundout to third base, ending the game and start the celebration in Chicago.

Aroldis Chapman (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits but getting the win. Montgomery got the save.

Dexter Fowler, Javier Baez and David Ross all homered for the Cubs, but the most dramatic homer of the game was struck by Cleveland's Davis in the eighth inning.

With Chicago leading 6-3, and two outs in the eighth, Jose Ramirez reached on an infield single by Jose Ramirez off Jon Lester. Chapman relieved Lester, and Guyer lined a double into the gap in right-center field, scoring Ramirez to make it 6-4.

Davis then battled Chapman to a 2-2 count before hitting a line drive over the left field wall for a two-run, game-tying home run.

The Indians scored twice in the fifth inning to cut a Chicago lead from 5-1 to 5-3, but the Cubs immediately scored again in the sixth inning when Ross, playing in his last major league game, pounded a 1-2 pitch from Andrew Miller over the center field wall for a home run to make it 6-3.

It didn't take long for the Cubs to take the lead. Fowler hit Corey Kluber's fourth pitch of the game over the center field wall for a home run. That was just one of the early signs that Kluber, working on short rest for the second consecutive start, didn't have his best stuff. He finished fifth in the American League with 227 strikeouts, but in the four-plus innings he worked, he had no strikeouts.

Cleveland tied it in the third inning with a rally started by a leadoff double by Coco Crisp. A sacrifice bunt by Roberto Perez moved Crisp to second, and Carlos Santana hit an RBI single to right.

The Cubs came right back with a two-run fourth inning. Bryant led off with a single and he went to second when Rizzo was hit by an 0-2 pitch from Kluber. Zobrist hit a grounder to first baseman Mike Napoli, who threw to second for the force out on Rizzo, but Bryant went to third.

Russell followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Bryant and giving Chicago a 2-1 lead. Zobrist went to second on that play, and he scored on a double off the center field wall by Willson Contreras, pushing the Cubs' lead to 3-1.

The Cubs continued their assault on Kluber in the fifth inning when Baez hit Kluber's first pitch of the inning and last pitch of the game over the wall in center field to make it 4-1.

Kluber was removed from the game after the Baez home run. He gave up four runs on six hits and no walks. Miller relieved Kluber, but the Cubs kept hitting. Rizzo's RBI single later in the inning extended the lead to 5-1.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon had virtually all of his pitchers available for Game 7, and he proved it in the bottom of the fifth when he brought in Lester after starter Kyle Hendricks walked Carlos Santana with two outs and nobody on. Hendricks pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

Jason Kipnis, the first batter Lester faced, hit a dribbler down the third base line. Catcher Ross fielded it but threw wildly to first for an error. Santana went to third and Kipnis to second.

Lester then uncorked a wild pitch that rolled toward the Chicago dugout. Santana and Kipnis were both able to score on the play, cutting the Cubs' lead to 5-3.

NOTES: Indians left-handed-hitting OF Tyler Naquin usually starts against right-handed pitching, but with Cubs starting RHP Kyle Hendricks, right-handed-hitting Rajai Davis started in center in place of Naquin, whose miscommunication with OF Lonnie Chisenhall in the first inning of Game 6 led to a routine fly ball dropping in safely, scoring two Cubs runs. ... Indians 1B Mike Napoli, who went 0-for-5, has 15 career RBIs in the World Series, the most among all active players. ... 3B Kris Bryant homered in Game 5 and Game 6, becoming the first Cubs player to homer in consecutive games in a single World Series. ... Cubs SS Addison Russell had six RBIs in Game 6, tying the record for a World Series game. The others to do it: Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees in Game 3 in 1960, Hideki Matsui of the Yankees in Game 6 in 2009 and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 in 2011.

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