One down, three to go as the Cleveland Indians attempt to end a 68-year World Series title drought.
Corey Kluber combined with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen on a seven-hitter as the Indians blanked the Chicago Cubs, 6-0 in Game 1 at Cleveland. Kluber was devastating in the early innings after compiling a 0.98 ERA in his three previous postseason starts. He became the first pitcher in postseason history to strike out eight over the first three innings.
Kluber finished with nine strikeouts and limited the Cubs to four hits over six-plus innings to pick up the victory.
Miller replaced Kluber with a runner on first in the seventh and promptly loaded the bases with nobody out before striking out two of the next three hitters to keep it a 3-0 game.
The Indians scratched out a pair of first-inning runs off Jon Lester. Jose Ramirez poked an infield single with the bases loaded to open the scoring, one batter before Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch to bring in the second run.
Roberto Perez furnished the rest of the scoring with a pair of homers, belting a solo shot off Lester in the fourth and putting the game out of reach with a three-run blast in the eighth. He has three postseason homers after hitting just three the entire regular season.
Francisco Lindor went 3-for-4 and started the first-inning rally with a two-out single.
Lester took the loss after he was reached for six hits while striking out seven over 5 2/3s.
Kyle Schwarber was the Cubs' designated hitter in his first game since tearing knee ligaments on April 7. Schwarber doubled to right in his second at-bat.
Ben Zobrist had three hits for the Cubs, whose last World Series victory came in Game 6 of the 1945 Fall Classic against Dizzy Trout and the Detroit Tigers.
Game 2 is Wednesday at Cleveland, with the start time moved up one hour due to the threat of rain. The Cubs will turn to Jake Arrieta in a bid to send the series back to Chicago tied at a game apiece. Trevor Bauer will start for the Indians.
© 2018 Associated Press