Updated at 10:25 p.m. ET
The Chicago Cubs lead the Cleveland Indians 6-3 after six innings in Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. With the Series tied at 3 games each, the winner tonight will be crowned the new champions of Major League Baseball.
The game was tied 1-1 when Cubs regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning scoring two runs. Kris Bryant led off with a single and Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice fly by Addison Russell scored Bryant, then a double by Willson Contreras brought in the Cubs' second run of the frame.
The Indians went down quietly in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Chicago got two more runs in the fifth inning on a solo homer by Javier Baez on the first pitch he saw from the Indians' Corey Kluber. The Indians brought in their ace reliever Andrew Miller. Two outs later, Kris Bryant walked and scored on a base hit by Anthony Rizzo. Chicago led the game 5-1.
The Indians came back with two runs in the fifth. Cubs manager Joe Maddon pulled his starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks in the bottom of the fifth with two outs after he walked Carlos Santana. Hendricks left the game surrendering only one run and scattering four hits. The Cubs' Jon Lester, typically a starter, came in to relieve. A throwing error by catcher David Ross put runners at second and third. They both scored on a wild pitch by Lester, cutting the Indians deficit to two runs, 5-3.
Ross reclaimed one of those runs with a solo home run to center off the Indians' Miller in the top of the sixth inning, extending Chicago's lead 6-3.
Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET
The Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are tied 1-1 after three innings in Game 7 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. With the Series tied at 3 games each, the winner tonight will be crowned the new champions of Major League Baseball.
The Cubs struck quickly with a solo home run by leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler to center field off Indians starter Corey Kluber in the first inning. Kyle Schwarber followed with a single, but Kluber then retired eight straight Cubs hitters over the first three innings. Schwarber collected his second single of the game but he was thrown out trying to stretch out a double to end the top half of the third inning.
The Indians tied the score when Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the third inning with a double to left, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Roberto Perez and scored on a single to right field by Carlos Santana. An error by Cubs second baseman Javier Baez put another runner on base. But the Indians failed to capitalize on what might have been a big inning.
The Chicago Cubs face the Cleveland Indians in the decisive Game 7 of the 2016 World Series Wednesday night at Cleveland's Progressive Field. The teams are tied at three games each. A victory by either team will end one of the longest droughts in the history of Major League Baseball.
The Indians last won the World Series in 1948. The Cubs haven't won a championship since 1908. As ESPN puts it, that's a combined 176 years of baseball heartache.
The Indians are relying on ace starter Corey Kluber, the 2014 Cy Young Award winner and winning pitcher in Games 1 and 4. He will make his second straight start on three days of rest. If Kluber wins, he'll be the first pitcher to start and win three World Series games since Detroit Tigers pitcher Mickey Lolich did it in 1968.
The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound. He had the best earned run average in baseball this year.
The magic of the moment is not lost on any player on either team. Here's how Hendricks summed it up for the AP:
"This is the ultimate dream," he said. "When you're out in your backyard as a kid, playing Little League at the field with your friends, this is the moment you dream about: Game 7, 3-2, two outs, something like that, bottom of the ninth. But it's always Game 7 of the World Series."
Stay tuned for Game 7 updates.