CHICAGO -- Three down, one to go!
The Cleveland Indians rode the solid pitching of staff ace Corey Kluber and timely hitting to beat the Chicago Cubs, 7-2, in Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field and are now one game away from their first world championship since 1948.
Over six innings of work, Kluber allowed just five hits, one walk and one earned run against six strikeouts. Kluber found a way to strand five Cubs runners and registered his first postseason hit in the top of the second inning.
Offensively, second baseman Jason Kipnis led the way with a three-for-five showing against the Cubs. The Chicago-area native delivered the final blow to the Cubs’ hope of a comeback when belted a three-run home run into the seats in right field in the top of the seventh inning, and finished the game with three RBI and two runs scored.
Also, Indians first baseman Carlos Santana went three for four with an RBI and run scored.
Held scoreless in two of the first three games of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs changed that in short order against the Indians in Game 4.
After getting shut out by Kluber in Game 1, the Cubs went right to work against Cleveland’s front-line starter and likely American League Cy Young candidate as lead-off hitter Dexter Fowler flared an opposite-field double to left.
Despite having a good read on the ball, Indians left fielder Rajai Davis could not time his dive attempt just right and the ball dropped in fair territory slightly out of his reach. Two batters later, first baseman Anthony Rizzo smacked a single to right-center field and drove in the first run of the game.
The Indians may trailed early in Game 4, but they had an answer in the top of the second inning.
Santana led off the inning with a solo home run to the seats in right field. Prior to the run-producing swing, Santana took all five pitches from Cubs starter John Lackey. However, the patience paid off as Santana found a pitch to his liking and blasted his third solo homer of the postseason.
Two batters later, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall reached base on a throwing error charged to third baseman Kris Bryant. After picking up the softly hit grounder, Bryant threw the ball out of reach of first baseman Anthony Rizzo and into the tarp next to Cleveland’s dugout.
Then, the Cubs elected to intentionally walk center fielder Tyler Naquin to get to Kluber, but that proved to be a fateful decision.
After fouling off two pitches, including one just wide of third base, Kluber hit a dribbler to the left of the pitcher’s mound and legged out a single. Bryant’s throw pulled Rizzo off the base and dribbled away from the Cubs’ first baseman, which allowed Chisenhall to score the go-ahead run.
The Indians built onto their lead and took a 3-1 advantage over the Cubs in the top of the third inning.
Kipnis got the rally going when he lifted a fly ball down the right-field line for a double. Then, after fouling off the first two pitches of his at-bat and another to stay alive later in the count, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor smacked a single to right-center field.
As soon as the ball hit the grass, Kipnis sprinted from second base, motored around third and came in to score without a relay throw from the outfield.
Take a look at the images from the Indians' Game 4 victory over the Cubs in our photo gallery below: