CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a great start and Roberto Perez finished off the Chicago Cubs in their first World Series game since 1945.
Kluber pitched neatly into the seventh inning, Perez hit two home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a 3-0 lead.
In a matchup between the teams with baseball’s longest championship droughts, the Indians scored twice in the first inning off October ace Jon Lester and were on their way.
Perez drove in four runs — he became the first No. 9 batter to homer twice in a Series game, and the first Indians player to accomplish the feat. He hit a three-run drive to put it away.
Francisco Lindor added three hits, helping Cleveland manager Terry Francona to improve to 9-0 in the Series. Francona’s success includes sweeps by his Boston teams in 2004 and ’07.
The Game 1 winner has taken the title in the last six Series and 17 of 19.
Trevor Bauer, trying to come back from a sliced pinkie, starts Game 2 for the Indians on Wednesday night against Jake Arrieta. With rain in the forecast, the start time was moved up an hour to 7:08 p.m.
Kluber struck out eight in the first three innings. He combined with Miller and Cody Allen to fan 15.
With the Indians hoping for their first title since 1948 and the Cubs seeking their first since 1908, Lester stumbled in the opening inning. Cleveland loaded the bases with two outs, Jose Ramirez had a run-scoring swinging bunt single and Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch.