CHICAGO (AP) — They’ve waited 108 years for a championship. So with this World Series on the verge of slipping away, the Chicago Cubs could not wait any longer.
Manager Joe Maddon summoned closer Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen in the seventh inning for the first eight-out save of his big league career, needing to hold off the Cleveland Indians in Game 5.
As nervous fans fretted at Wrigley Field, Chapman fired his 100 mph heat and preserved the Cubs’ 3-2 win Sunday night, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 3-2.
The Cubs won a Series game at Wrigley for the first time since Game 6 in 1945.
Now, the team that led the majors in wins this year will try to extend its season again Tuesday night when Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta faces Josh Tomlin at Cleveland in Game 6.
Chicago is trying to become the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals and the first to do it by winning Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cleveland, in search of its first title since 1948, is in search of its third-ever title and has won the championship at home just once, in 1920.
Chapman hadn’t pitched in the seventh inning since 2012. He threw 42 pitches, 15 of them at least 100 mph.
The lefty struck out four and fanned Jose Ramirez, who had homered earlier, with 101 mph heat to end it.