World Series Reset: Indians vs. Cubs Game 5

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The Game: Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs, World Series Game 5
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Trevor Bauer (Indians) vs. Jon Lester (Cubs)

The Upshot:

It all comes down to this. The Indians will either clinch their championship title or watch the Cubs force the series back to Cleveland for Game 6, with the potential for a nail-biting Game 7 finish on Wednesday. While it has no bearing on the Cubs’ chances this year, it’s worth noting that Chicago has dropped five of six World Series that have gone to at least six games, excepting a 3-3-1 tie in 1885 that, barring a considerable change of heart from Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, is unlikely to repeat itself in 2016.

Left-hander Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) gets the ball for the Cubs on Sunday after going 5 2/3 innings during the Indians’ 6-0 blowout in Game 1 of the World Series. Elsewhere in the postseason, he’s been nearly untouchable, holding opponents to two runs, two walks, and a .189 average while striking out 14 batters over 21 innings.

For the Indians, it’s Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA), who will follow Corey Kluber as the second Cleveland pitcher to make a start on short rest in the 2016 World Series. Bauer appeared in Game 2 of the series, expending 87 pitches, two runs, two walks, and two strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings as the Indians fell to the Cubs, 5-1. Unlike Lester, Bauer’s postseason has been a rocky one. Injuries and the usual case of playoff jitters have produced a 5.00 ERA in October, and the right-hander has yet to pitch past the fourth inning in any of his starts.

At the plate, the Indians have proven themselves more than capable of handling the Cubs’ starters. Francisco Lindor turned heads on Saturday, reaching base twice and becoming the youngest player to reach seven multi-hit games in the postseason (per MLB Stat of the Day). Big knocks from Carlos Santana, Coco Crisp, and Jason Kipnis have also proved key in the Indians’ three World Series wins, while some of the Cubs’ hottest hitters coming into the Fall Classic (breakout star Javier Baez, MVP candidate Kris Bryant) have found their efforts repeatedly stymied by the Indians’ pitching staff.

Should the Cubs press Bauer’s weaknesses for a late-series comeback, they’ll send Jake Arrieta against Josh Tomlin on Tuesday, with the possibility of a Corey Kluber-Kyle Hendricks finale on Wednesday. Neither Tomlin nor Kluber will have the benefit of pitching on regular rest, which could give the Cubs the edge they need to take the series.

For now, however, they just need to focus on getting through Game 5.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

AP MLB: and