Cubs Draw Even With Indians

The Game --- The Cubs jumped out to an early lead against Trevor Bauer in the top of the first on an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo that scored Kris Bryant.

But Cubs starter Jake Arrieta struggled with his fastball command in the bottom half of the same inning, walking Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli in succession before getting Jose Ramirez to fly out to escape the jam.

From there, Arrieta settled down, reigning in his early wildness and yielding a handful of fly-ball outs knocked down by wind blowing in from center field. Though Arrieta did not appear to have the best feel for his stuff on a frigid night, he held the Indians hitless through 5 1/3 before a Jason Kipnis double ended his no-hit bid. Kipnis scored two batters later on a wild pitch.

With his pitch count escalating, Arrieta left the game with two outs in the sixth for lefty Mike Montgomery. Montgomery followed with his best Andrew Miller imitating, striking out four batters over two innings before closer Aroldis Chapman came on for a four-out save.

Pivot point - The Indians' best opportunity for multiple runs may have come in the first inning, with Arrieta struggling to throw strikes and putting two batters aboard. Ramirez hit the ball hard, but well within reach of Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler. Cubs pitching proved far more formidable thereafter.

Man of the moment - Two days ago, Kyle Schwarber was playing in the Arizona Fall League in front of some 100 fans. The 23-year-old slugger and Ohio native suffered multiple torn ligaments in his knee in an outfield collision on April 7 and was expected to miss the entire season. He rehabbed with only two games in Arizona before joining the Cubs' World Series roster and going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in Game 1. In Game 2, he went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in two of the Cubs' five runs.

Ted Berg, USA Today Sports


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