The Cleveland Indians opened the MLB World Series with a 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Roberto Perez went two-for-four with two homers and four RBIs for the Indians at Progressive Field as they took a 1-0 series lead.
Indians pitcher Corey Kluber struck out nine through six innings, while Jon Lester took the loss after giving up three runs in 5.2 for the Cubs.
The Cubs had their chances – they had seven hits – but went one-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
A two-run first inning set up the Indians before Perez homered in the fourth and eighth, the latter a three-run shot.
Kluber hurls historic start. Entering with an 0.98 ERA this postseason, Kluber's start was one for the history books. The right-hander began his fourth postseason start with a new World Series record eight strikeouts in the first three innings and finished the night the new owner of the lowest career postseason ERA. With six-plus scoreless innings, Kluber now owns a career postseason ERA of 0.74. During his four-hit outing Tuesday, he passed Harry Brecheen (0.83), Claude Osteen (0.86), Babe Ruth (0.87), Sherry Smith (0.89), Sandy Koufax (0.95) and Steve Rogers (0.976) for the lowest ERA among pitchers with at least three career postseason starts and 18 or more innings.
First inning dooms Lester. The Cubs ace entered with his own dominant ERA numbers this postseason (0.86 and two walks allowed), but a two-out rally started by Francisco Lindor in the first inning cost Lester big time. Lindor took advantage of Lester's inability to hold runners at first base and stole second before moving to third after a pair of walks loaded the bases. Jose Ramirez connected on the first of his three hits with an infield RBI single before Lester hit Guyer to make it a 2-0 game.
Andrew Miller almost looked human. The American League Championship Series MVP took over for Kluber with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh but allowed a walk and single to load the bases. The left-hander then pitched his way out of the bases-loaded jam, getting Willson Contreras to fly out before punching out Addison Russell and David Ross to preserve the Indians' lead. When Terry Francona elected to keep Miller in the game for the eighth, the Cubs got him to bend, but not break. Ben Zobrist gave the Cubs runners on the corners with two out but Miller struck out Kyle Schwarber for his 24th punchout this postseason. Miller still has not allowed a run in his postseason career, but he did throw a season-high 46 pitches, putting in doubt his extended usage in game two Wednesday, which was pushed up an hour due to a threat of rain.
Perez became the first Indians player to hit two home runs in a World Series game.
Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) takes the ball for the Cubs looking to even the series and put to bed his recent struggles. The reigning Cy Young Award winner owns a 4.77 ERA over his last 10 starts with 25 walks, and nine homers allowed. Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA) toes the rubber for the Indians, his first time on the mound since being forced to exit game three of the ALCS when his pinkie wound burst open.