Cubs take it to the limit
Russell hits grand slam in 9-3 victory over Indians; champion to be decided today
By TOM WITHERS
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — After waiting 71 years for their return to the World Series, the Chicago Cubs are making this trip last as long as possible.
Addison Russell hit a grand slam and tied a World Series record with six RBIs, and the Cubs beat the Indians 9-3 on Tuesday in Game 6 to force a winner-take-all contest today.
“It’s correct and apt it will go seven games,” said Chicago manager Joe Maddon.
Kris Bryant homered to spark a three-run first inning helped by a misplay in Cleveland’s outfield on a ball hit by Russell, who in the third delivered the first slam in the Series in 11 years.
Jake Arrieta worked into the sixth for the Cubs, who this year won their first National League pennant since 1945 and now are seeking their first championship since 1908 — that’s the only title drought in the major leagues longer than that of the Indians, which dates to 1948.
Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, dominant while winning Games 1 and 4, will start again on short rest today against Kyle Hendricks, this year’s big league leader in ERA.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said the Indians’ Jason Kipnis, who homered and had three hits Tuesday. “We knew they’ve got a great ballclub over there. … We’re still very confident.”
Not wanting to take any chances despite a comfortable late lead, Maddon used Aroldis Chapman for one out in the seventh, all of the eighth and one batter in the ninth. Chapman, who got the final eight outs in Game 5, threw 20 more pitches but will be on call for the season’s final game.
Bryant finished with four hits and Anthony Rizzo had three, including a two-run homer.
With two outs in the first inning, Bryant sent a 433-foot drive nearly halfway up the bleachers in left field. Rizzo and Ben Zobrist followed with
singles before Josh Tomlin got Russell to hit what appeared to be a routine out. However, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall and rookie center fielder Tyler Na-quin, perhaps unable to hear over the crowd, looked at each other and let the ball drop for a double. Rizzo scored easily and Zobrist beat a relay throw to
the plate, bowling over catcher Roberto Perez.
“It was just loud (out) there,” Naquin said. “It was kind of one of those in-betweeners. Lonnie got a good break, I got a break, it’s just one of those deals. In the moment, me being the center fielder, I need to take charge on that. That’s my mistake.”
Russell homered off Dan Otero after Tomlin left with the bases loaded and one out.
“I hope it’s not difficult to sleep. It’s every kid’s dream. It all comes down to Game 7,” Russell said.