Indians blank Cubs in World Series opener

Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:41am EDT
 
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CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Cleveland Indians, lifted by the pitching of Corey Kluber and slugging of Roberto Perez, spoiled the long-awaited return to the World Series by the Chicago Cubs with a 6-0 spanking in Tuesday's opening game.

Kluber became the first World Series pitcher to strike out eight of the first nine outs registered, as he outdueled Jon Lester, while catcher Perez blasted a pair of homers to drive in four runs as Cleveland claimed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven.

Kluber gave up four hits in six-plus innings, striking out nine with no walks to become only the third hurler to strike out nine without giving up a run in a Fall Classic opener after Cardinals' Bob Gibson (1968) and Yankees' Allie Reynolds (1949).

"There's that extra level of excitement, anxiety but once you get out there and the game starts and you get in the flow it all disappears," said Kluber, who was pitching in his first World Series game.

"You kind of get in your comfort zone just playing the game."

With relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen following Kluber to the mound, Indians pitchers registered 15 strikeouts.

Hitting star Perez, who had only three homers in the regular season and said he felt comfortable at the plate, seemed even more enthused by Kluber's performance.

"It's fun, he (Kluber) just attacked hitters," Perez said. "We got ahead of hitters today. He's been doing that the whole year. He's our ace. Every time he steps on the mound I expect big things from him.

"He was awesome."   Continued...

 
Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) celebrates with center fielder Rajai Davis (20) after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game one of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports - RTX2QGFR