Jake Arietta made a brief run at a no-hitter and ended another 71-year pause between celebrations for the Chicago Cubs and their faithful fans.
CLEVELAND — Jake Arietta made a brief run at a no-hitter and ended another 71-year pause between celebrations for the Chicago Cubs and their faithful fans.
Not only are they back in the World Series, they’ve won there again.
One more drought quenched, one more to go.
World Series Game 3, Cleveland at Cubs, 5 p.m., Ch. 13
Arrieta carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs and the Cubs brushed off a shutout to even the Series with their first Fall Classic win in 71 years, 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
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Arrieta, who pitched a no-hitter earlier this season, briefly invoked Don Larsen’s name by flirting with one deep in October before the Indians touched him for two hits and a run. However, the right-hander helped give Chicago just what it needed — a split at Progressive Field — before the Cubbies return to their Wrigley Field den for the next three games starting Friday night.
“It’s always crazy good,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said when asked how he expected things to be on the corner of Clark and Addison for Game 3. “But I’d have to imagine a little bit more than that, especially coming back at 1-1. I think the folks will be jacked up about the win tonight.
“It’s the finest venue there is in professional sports and maybe in all of sports.”
The Cubs hadn’t won in the Series since beating Detroit 8-7 in 1945 to force a decisive Game 7, and after their latest win, hundreds of Chicago fans gathered in the pouring rain in the rows behind their first-base dugout, where they danced and sang. A few waved the familiar white and blue “W” flags.
They hope to do it three more times.
The big-swinging Schwarber, who made it back for Chicago’s long-awaited Series return after missing six months with an injured left knee, hit an RBI single in the third off Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs’ three-run fifth — highlighted by Ben Zobrist’s run-scoring triple.
In Game 1, Schwarber doubled and walked.
“No, it’s not that easy, first off. Baseball’s a crazy game,” he said.
Even the presence of star LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers, sporting their new rings, couldn’t stop the Indians from losing for the first time in six home games this postseason.
And Cleveland manager Terry Francona’s magical touch in October finally fizzled as he dropped to 9-1 in Series games.
“We gave up nine hits, eight walks, two errors, and we only gave up five runs,” Francona said. “For us to win, we generally need to play a clean game, and we didn’t do that.”
With rain in the forecast, Major League Baseball moved the first pitch up an hour in hopes of avoiding delays or a postponement.
It turned out to be a good call as the game went on without a hitch and ended after more than four hours as light rain was falling.
Arrieta coasted through five innings without allowing a hit, and his no-hit bid was the longest in a World Series game since Jerry Koosman of the New York Mets tossed six no-hit innings in 1969.
For a brief period, Arrieta looked as if he might challenge Larsen’s perfect-game gem in 1956 before Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis doubled with one out in the sixth .