Aroldis Chapman pitched 2 2/3 innings to close out a 3-2 Cubs victory in Game 5 and send the World Series back to Cleveland.
Game 6 is at 7:08 p.m. CT Tuesday.
Chapman came on with one out in the seventh inning and a runner on. He escaped the seventh and eighth innings with no runs allowed despite the Indians putting a runner in scoring position.
The Cubs’ offense, which has struggled throughout this series, broke out during a three-run fourth. Kris Bryant started things off with a solo home run, and Addison Russell drove in a run on an infield single.
With the bases loaded, David Ross — making his last at-bat at Wrigley Field — hit a sacrifice fly to score what turned out to be the decisive run.
The Cubs left eight runners on base and put runners in scoring position in the second, fifth and seventh innings but couldn’t score.
Jon Lester threw six strong innings and allowed two runs on four hits and struck out five. The Indians scored first on a solo home run by Jose Ramirez in the second.
Chapman allowed no runs and one hit during his two-plus innings of work. He struck out four. He threw 42 pitches and 26 strikes.
It was the Cubs’ first World Series win at Wrigley Field since Oct. 8, 1945.
Bottom Eighth: The Cubs need three more outs to win Game 5 and bring the World Series back to Cleveland.
They weren’t able to get any insurance runs on the board in the eighth, so they’ll take a narrow 3-2 lead into the ninth to face the middle third of the Indians lineup.
Jason Heyward singled with one out and stole two bases to get to third. But Aroldis Chapman, making just his third career plate appearance, struck out swinging to end the inning.
Chapman, who is up to 30 pitches, will come on to try to close things out.
End eighth: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Indians: Napoli, Santana Ramirez
Top Eighth: Cubs fans held their breath throughout a tension-fillde eighth inning.
Aroldis Chapman gave up a one-out infield single to Rajai Davis. Anthony Rizzo made a great diving stop on a groundball down the line, but Chapman didn’t get over to first base in time to cover the bag.
Davis stole second and third, but Chapman got Jason Kipnis to fly out and struck out Francisco Lindor looking to end the inning.
The Cubs are holding a slim 3-2 lead and would sure love to grab a few insurance runs in the eighth.
Chapman has thrown 30 pitches through 1 2/3 innings of relief. He’s thrown more than 30 innings just three times this season.
Middle eighth: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Cubs: Russell, Heyward, Baez
Bottom Seventh: The Cubs left more runners on base, a habit that’s becoming increasingly costly in the World Series.
Dexter Fowler took a pitch off his foot for the first baserunner. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked after Fowler stole second.
But Kris Bryant struck out looking for the second time tonight between the two baserunners, and Ben Zobrist popped out to short to end the inning.
So with a one-run lead, Aroldis Chapman will come back in the eighth to try to hang on.
End seventh: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Indians: Gomes, Davis, Kipnis
Top Seventh: Joe Maddon is going to try something a bit different to close this game out.
Maddon brought C.J. Edwards in to start the seventh but then went with Aroldis Chapman after a single and a flyout. Chapman hit Brandon Guyer with a pitch but got the two outs he needed to end inning.
If Chapman is going to see this game through to the end, he’s looking at a 2 2/3 inning outing.
Middle seventh: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Cubs: Conteras, Fowler, Bryant
Bottom Sixth: Reliever Bryan Shaw stepped in for Mike Clevinger here in the sixth and struck out the side in a 1-2-3 inning.
Miguel Montero pinch-hit for David Ross and struck out swinging for the third out.
C.J. Edwards is coming in for Jon Lester.
Final line on Lester: 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 0 BB. He threw 90 pitches and 61 strikes.
End sixth: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Indians: Napoli, Santana, Ramirez
Top Sixth: Francisco Lindor hit an RBI single to left-center field to score Rajai Davis, chipping away at the Cubs lead to make it 3-2.
Lindor’s single was just out of reach of Fowler, who dove to catch the ball but instead grabbed it on one hop.
David Ross caught Lindor stealing to end the inning.
That could do it for Lester. He’s at 90 pitches now and is due up fourth in the bottom half of the inning.
Middle sixth: Cubs 3, Indians 2
Due up for Cubs: Heyward, Baez, Ross
Bottom Fifth: The Cubs threatened in the fifth but came away with nothing.
Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist walked to put two runners on, but Addison Russell lined out to right to end the inning.
Trevor Bauer’s night came to an end after the three-run fourth, replaced in the fifth by Mike Clevinger.
Final line on Bauer: 4 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 7 K. 74 pitches, 49 strikes.
End fifth: Cubs 3, Indians 1
Due up for Indians: Clevinger, Davis, Kipnis
Top Fifth: Jon Lester pitched his way out of a jam in the fifth and preserved the Cubs’ 3-1 lead.
Lester gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Santana, who advanced to third on a groundout by Jose Ramirez.
With two chances to get the run in, Brandon Guyer struck out and Roberto Perez grounded out to end the inning.
Lester has given up two hits and one run in five innings of work. He’s thrown 69 pitches and 47 strikes.
Middle fifth: Cubs 3, Indians 1
Due up for Cubs: Fowler, Bryant, Rizzo
Bottom Fourth: The missing Cubs offense turned up in the fourth to score three runs and take a 3-1 lead over the Indians.
Addison Russell poked an infield single to the left side that scored Anthony Rizzo, and David Ross hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ben Zobrist.
Kris Bryant started it all off with a leadoff home run that tied the game.
Rizzo nearly made it back-to-back homers with a double off the right-field wall. Zobrist singled, Russell singled, and Javy Baez laid down a perfect bunt that loaded the bases for Ross.
Jon Lester struck out looking to end the inning.
It was exactly the kind of inning the Cubs have needed for the past three nights. If Lester keeps pitching like this, three runs are all the Cubs will need.
End fourth: Cubs 3, Indians 1
Due up for Indians: Santana, Ramirez, Guyer
Top Fourth: Another quick 1-2-3 inning for Jon Lester, who has thrown only 50 pitches through four.
The home run to Jose Ramirez remains the only baserunner he’s allowed. He’s faced the minimum batters otherwise.
David Ross and Anthony Rizzo collided on a routine pop fly in foul territory. Ross got knocked backward but held the ball, and both players were fine.
Middle fourth: Indians 1, Cubs 0
Due up for Cubs: Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrist
Bottom Third: The Cubs are now trying to make every Indians starter look like an All-Star.
Trevor Bauer finished his first lap through the Cubs lineup in the third and notched a 1-2-3 inning after Dexter Fowler flew out to right.
Bauer has five strikeouts and has allowed just one hit and no walks.
David Ross received a standing ovation when he came to the plate. This will be his last game ever at Wrigley Field.
End third: Indians 1, Cubs 0
Due up for Indians: Kipnis, Lindor, Napoli
Top Third: Jon Lester didn’t strike anyone out in the third, but he got ahead in counts and pitched a 1-2-3- inning.
Jason Heyward helped out with an athletic play near the wall in right field and snare a foul ball.
Lester is in good shape so far, needing 41 pitches through three innings and throwing 29 of them for strikes.
Middle third: Indians 1, Cubs 0
Due up for Cubs: Ross, Lester, Fowler
Bottom Second: Addison Russell hit a one-out single and, like most of this series, didn’t move after that.
Jason Heyward struck out looking and Javy Baez struck out swinging (at a pitch a zip code away from the strike zone) to end the inning.
The Cubs’ bats are still AWOL, even against Trevor Bauer. Seven more innings to figure things out.
End second: Indians 1, Cubs 0
Due up for Indians: Perez, Bauer, Davis
Top Second: The Cubs made a pair of great defensive plays in the second inning but they were overshadowed by Jose Ramirez’s first postseason home run to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.
After retiring the first five hitters of the game, Lester threw an 0-1 pitch to Ramirez that got cranked into the left-field bleachers.
The previous batter, Carlos Santana, hit a foul pop to the right side that David Ross attempted to make a play on near the dugout. The ball bounced off his glove, and Anthony Rizzo kept it in the air with his free hand and caught it with his glove for the inning’s second out.
Kris Bryant flashed some leather with a brilliant diving stop to his right before throwing out Brandon Guyer with a hard throw across the diamond.
Middle second: Indians 1, Cubs 0
Due up for Cubs: Zobrist, Russell, Heyward
Bottom First: Trevor Bauer was almost as good in the bottom half of the first as Lester was in the top half.
Bauer struck out Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant — both looking — before getting Anthony Rizzo to fly out to left. Rizzo hit the pitch before the flyout onto Sheffield Ave., but just foul.
Only one batter has put the ball into play through one inning. Quite a start to this Game 5.
End first: Indians 0, Cubs 0
Due up for Indians: Napoli, Santana, Ramirez
Top First: Well, Jon Lester came to play tonight.
The Cubs’ left-handed ace struck out the side on 13 pitches in the top of the first, mowing down Indians batters like a man on a mission. All three strikeouts were swinging.
Lester has set the tone for Game 5, and the crowd was into every pitch.
Now onto whether the Cubs offense is equally fired up.
Middle first: Indians 0, Cubs 0
Due up for Cubs: Fowler, Bryant, Rizzo
With their backs against the wall, the Cubs are facing a must-win Game 5 at Wrigley Field tonight or their run at history is over.
Not including 2016, there have been 81 teams to fall behind 3-1 in the World Series. Of those 81 teams, 12 have come back to win the Series. That’s 14.8 percent if you care to look at it another way.
History doesn’t bode well for the Cubs tonight (when has it ever?), but there are some reasons to be optimistic.
Trevor Bauer will be taking the mound for the Indians. Bauer, you’ll remember, is the lone pitcher the Cubs have managed to get to this series. He threw 87 pitches in 3 2/3 innings in Game 2, and the Cubs won 5-1.
Facing Bauer will be Cubs ace Jon Lester, the Cy Young candidate who is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA this postseason.
That pitching matchup makes the Cubs betting favorites tonight, and a little momentum could go a long way moving forward.
If the Cubs win, they’ll have to win two more in Cleveland to claim the series.
But remember: 14.8 percent.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
1. Rajai Davis CF; 2. Jason Kipnis 2B; 3. Francisco Lindor SS; 4. Mike Napoli 1B; 5. Carlos Santana LF; 6. Jose Ramirez 3B; 7. Brandon Guyer RF; 8. Roberto Perez C; 9. Trevor Bauer P
1. Dexter Fowler CF; 2. Kris Bryant 3B; 3. Anthony Rizzo 1B; 4. Ben Zobrist LF; 5. Addison Russell SS; 6. Jason Heyward RF; 7. Javier Baez 2B; 8. David Ross C; 9. Jon Lester P