CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant provided the spark the Cubs needed, and at exactly the right time.Bryant led off the fourth inning with his second home run of the postseason to tie Game 5 of the World Series and help propel the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Indians at
CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant provided the spark the Cubs needed, and at exactly the right time.
Bryant led off the fourth inning with his second home run of the postseason to tie Game 5 of the World Series and help propel the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Indians at Wrigley Field on Sunday night. The win helped the Cubs extend the Fall Classic, which will now shift to Cleveland for Game 6 on Tuesday with the Indians holding a 3-2 Series lead.
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"We're down in an elimination game, and he ties it up with one swing," teammate Anthony Rizzo said. "We fed off it."
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Rizzo followed Bryant's blast with a double, and he eventually scored on Addison Russell's infield single to take a 2-1 lead. David Ross added a sacrifice fly in the three-run fourth inning.
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"For us to get back to even [in the game] and let us relax a little bit -- we do a lot better when we get the lead," Ross said.
Bryant began the night 1-for-14 in the World Series, and he also drew a walk in the fifth. He was called out on strikes against the Indians' Trevor Bauer in the first and again against Cody Allen in the seventh, although the second call was questionable.
"He got called on a strike that apparently might have been up," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the strikeout in the seventh. "I like the fact that he wasn't just swinging at anything. That's what we all have to be able to do. That's the kind of thing that could get him rolling, there's no question about that."
The Cubs have been chasing pitches out of the zone in some instances, and Maddon has been looking for better at-bats. That fourth inning could provide a spark.
"There's not a crazy sense of urgency, but certainly we want to get some runs there so that they're not going to go to [Andrew] Miller and Allen with the lead," Bryant said. "For me, I wasn't going out there trying to hit a homer or anything like that. It was, 'Have a good at-bat,' and it's nice that it went over the fence. Obviously, I haven't been swinging the bat too great, but it was nice to kind of get one to kind of help us all out."
Albert Almora Jr. lockers next to Bryant in the Cubs' clubhouse and they are close friends. Almora hasn't seen Bryant show any frustration.
"I felt he had some at-bats where he tried to do too much," Almora said. "You could sense the relief once he hit that ball. Honestly, he's been great, even if he's making outs. He knows it's team baseball. You can never tell even if he was struggling -- that's how everybody on this team is. It's awesome as a friend and a teammate and a fellow competitor to see him contribute."
Bryant also stole a base, and he is the third player 24 or younger to homer and steal a base in a World Series game, joining Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle (1956, Game 4) and Jose Canseco (1988, Game 1). Bryant also is the first Cubs third baseman in history to hit a home run in a World Series game.
The Fall Classic now heads to Progressive Field for Game 6. Not many teams have been able to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series.
"Why not us?" Bryant said. "I feel like we play our best with our backs up against the wall. We went out there today, took care of business. Hopefully, we can get out there and win Game 6, because you never know what can happen in a Game 7.
"We're all about writing our own history," he said. "This team is a special one, and we look at so many times throughout the year where we haven't been playing good, but I feel like we turn that around."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.