Cubs force World Series Game 7 behind Addison Russell's historic night

CLEVELAND -- Breaking down Game 6 of the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field.

Cubs 9, Indians 3: Series tied, 3-3.

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The game: The Cubs scored early and often off Indians' starter Josh Tomlin, plating three on a two-out first-inning rally that started with a long Kris Bryant homer and continued due to miscommunication in the outfield that allowed a lazy Addison Russell fly ball to drop in for a two-run double.

Chicago tacked on four more runs in the top of the third on a grand slam by Russell. The shortstop tied an all-time World Series record with six RBI in the game, all of them in the first three innings.

Anthony Rizzo tacked on two more with a home run in the ninth inning.

Tomlin, who entered the game with a 1.76 ERA across three starts this postseason, allowed six earned runs on six hits and a walk across only 2 1/3 innings.

The Indians chipped away against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, notching a run on a pair of hits in the fourth and another on a Jason Kipnis homer in the fifth. Arrieta left with two outs in the sixth, having allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out nine.

Surprisingly, Joe Maddon went to closer Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning for the second straight game. He lasted 1 1/3 innings and 20 pitches before he was taken out.

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Man of the moment: Russell. The 22-year-old shortstop became only the fourth player in World Series history with six RBI in a game, set a new Cubs record for RBI in a postseason game, became the first shortstop ever to hit a grand slam in the World Series, and established a new RBI record for shortstops in World Series play. He's also no slouch on defense, and made a slick play moving to his left to end the sixth.

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Pivot point: Tomlin had Bryant down 0-2 in the count with two outs in the first when he hung a curveball that Bryant smashed 433 feet to deep left field. The Indians never led in the game.

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Needing a mulligan: Indians center fielder Tyler Naquin had an adventurous and costly night in center field, starting with the ugly play that allowed two Cubs to score in the first. On a seemingly innocuous fly ball to short right center, Naquin and right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall appeared to miscommunicate, allowing it to fall between them for a hit. Naquin then nearly collided with Chisenhall on a fly ball to the same spot, and came close to crashing into left field Coco Crisp on another seemingly routine play.

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Manager's special: With two key starters out of his postseason rotation due to injury, Indians manager Terry Francona opted for a three-man rotation of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin, with all three working on short rest after their first starts of the series. Kluber fared well in Games 1 and 4 of the series, and he's now set up to start Game 7. But both Bauer and Tomlin faltered in their second World Series turns, throwing only 6 1/3 innings between them and forcing Francona to tax his bullpen on both nights.

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What you missed on TV: Shirtless dudes dancing on stage right outside the park, where an unseasonably warm night and an early Cavaliers game drew huge crowds to watch Game 6 broadcast on big screens just beyond Progressive Field's left-field gate. Even with the Indians losing, the atmosphere was undeniably festive, with mid-inning contests like dance-offs to keep the mob entertained.

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State of the series: With the series now even at three games apiece, the clubs will play a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday at Progressive Field. Corey Kluber is set to start for the Indians and will look to continue a phenomenal postseason in which he has gone 4-1 with a 0.89 ERA in 30 1/3 innings across five starts. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs. The 26-year-old righty went only 4 1/3 innings in Game 2 of the World Series, but allowed no runs in the outing.


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