CLEVELAND -- There will be a Game 7 in the 2016 World Series.
Despite holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Cleveland Indians suffered two straight losses in potential close-out games, including a 9-3 decision to the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin allowed six runs, all earned, six hits with one home run and one walk without a strikeout over 2.1 innings of work in the loss to the Cubs, and Cleveland was never able to recover.
Down to their final strike in the top of the first inning after the first two hitters lined and grounded out respectively, third baseman Kris Bryant belted a solo home run into the bleacher seats in left field. The 400-foot blast put the Cubs in front of the Indians, 1-0, but the damage was far from done.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo and left fielder Ben Zobrist followed with back-to-back singles to right-center field, which put runners on the corners with two outs. Shortstop Addison Russell delivered the big blow when he flared a double that should have been a fly out to center field.
However, Tyler Naquin had some miscommunication with right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and the ball fell between them for a two-run double as both Rizzo and Zobrist came around to score, which gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Tomlin was ahead of or even in every one of the counts that resulted in Chicago hits and runs.
With one swing of the bat, the Cubs broke open Game 6 of the World Series against the Indians.
Already up by a 3-0 count, the Cubs tacked on four more runs when Russell belted a grand slam and made it a 7-0 lead over the Indians.
Designated hitter Kyle Schwarber started the inning with a walk after fouling off a pitch from, and after Bryant flied out to right field, Rizzo and Zobrist to load the bases.
The Zobrist hit drove Tomlin from the game and Dan Otero came on in relief. After throwing two straight balls to start the at-bat, Otero left a ball out over the plate that Russell smashed more than 400 feet over the wall in center field.
Russell’s grand slam was the Cubs’ first ever in a World Series game, and also, the first one allowed by the Indians in their six trips to the Fall Classic.
Ironically enough, it was another Chicago slugger, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who had the last grand slam in World Series history prior to Russell’s four-RBI hit. Konerko smashed a grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series, where the White Sox swept the Houston Astros on the way to their first title since 1917.
After smacking a lead-off double to deep center field and coming around to score the Indians’ first run of Game 6 on an RBI single from Mike Napoli in the fourth inning, second baseman Jason Kipnis continued a one-man crusade to get his team back into the contest in the bottom of the fifth.
Ahead in the count, 3-1, Kipnis took a pitch from Cubs starter Jake Arrieta to the opposite field and over the wall in left field. The 385-foot home run made it a 7-2 Cubs lead.
Rizzo smashed a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to put the score at its final margin.
Our Game 6 photo gallery is below: