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Indians vs. Cubs: Game 4 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 World Series

After letting their pitching do most of the work through the first three games of the 2016 World Series, the Cleveland Indians let their bats put them one win away from a championship with a 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 on Saturday night. 

Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis had the big blasts, with the latter being a three-run shot in the top of the seventh inning that put the Indians up 7-1. 

The Cubs couldn't have asked for a better start to the game. They jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled to lead off and was driven in on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single. 

Considering how overmatched the Cubs looked against Cleveland starter Corey Kluber in Game 1, those two hits and an early lead were a huge step in the right direction. 

Getting off to such an opening this postseason has been the successful formula for both of these teams. The Cubs had won their previous five playoff games when scoring first. 

The Indians made sure things would not be that easy. Santana, who was starting at first base and hitting cleanup in place of Mike Napoli, tied the score with a home run that cut through the wind at Wrigley Field. 

That would not be the only run Cleveland got against John Lackey in the second inning.

After the Cubs intentionally walked Tyler Naquin to pitch to Kluber, Cleveland's ace worked an eight-pitch at-bat before hitting a swinging bunt that led to a bad throw to first base from Kris Bryant and allowed Lonnie Chisenhall to score. 

Zack Meisel of had fun with Kluber's hitting stats this season after the single:

The Indians tacked on another run against Lackey in the third inning after Kipnis doubled to lead off and Francisco Lindor singled. 

It was Lindor's first RBI of the World Series, with Baseball Tonight noting it was also a historic one from the young shortstop:

Kluber soon continued his postseason excellence. After allowing two hits and one run in the first inning, Cleveland's ace held the Cubs to three over the next five. He wasn't quite as sharp with his command as Game 1, but he worked around damage at key moments.

For instance, Rizzo doubled to start the sixth inning but was left stranded at second when Ben Zobrist flied out, Willson Contreras struck out and Addison Russell grounded out. 

With the Indians needing to keep a close watch on Kluber's pitches for another potential start on three days' rest if the series is extended to seven games, he was lifted after six innings. The right-hander allowed five hits and struck out six Cubs. 

T.J. Zuppe of 92.3 The Fan provided the updated postseason stat line for Kluber after Saturday:

The Indians knew coming into the playoffs they needed Kluber to essentially fulfill the role Madison Bumgarner played for the San Francisco Giants in 2014. So far, so good. 

Skip Bayless of Fox Sports 1 offered this assessment of the series so far:

The news was not all good for Cleveland, though no one is likely to complain. Andrew Miller, who had never given up a run in his playoff career coming into Saturday's game, allowed a leadoff homer to Fowler in the eighth inning.

Meisel provided the heavily inflated ERA for Miller after giving up the blast:

It was a curious decision by Cleveland manager Terry Francona to have Miller pitch two innings in a game his team was winning by six runs. The big lefty threw 27 pitches one night after appearing in Game 3 for 17 pitches. 

From a Cubs perspective, while the pitching was not good, the offense remains a huge problem. ESPN's Freddie Coleman provided the information everyone in Chicago can see:

Looking ahead to Sunday's fifth game, the Cubs are set up well to at least send the series back to Cleveland. Jon Lester will take the mound for his second start of the World Series. He did battle through 5.2 innings in Game 1, allowing three runs on six hits, but he still struck out seven. 

The Indians will counter with Trevor Bauer, who struggled in Game 2. The right-hander gave up six hits, two runs and two walks to go with two strikeouts in 3.2 innings. 

Lester has the playoff resume, with a 2.60 ERA in 124.2 career innings. He's the guy the Cubs want on the mound in this spot. It's on him to deliver to keep Chicago's dream season alive for at least one more game.


Postgame Reaction

Even though the Indians are riding high after their third win of the World Series, Kluber made sure to note they can't get complacent now, per Jordan Bastian and Carrie Muskat of 

I think we like the position we're in, but the task isn't done yet. We still have one more game to win, and I think we're gonna show up tomorrow and we're gonna play with the same sense of urgency that we've played with to this point. We don't want to let them feel like they're building momentum or getting back in the Series.

Francona echoed the sentiments of his star pitcher. 

"Nothing changes," Francona said, per Bastian and Muskat. "We're going to show up [on Sunday]. The only thing that changes is we'll pack our bags, because we're going to go home one way or the other. We'll show up and try to beat a really good pitcher [on Sunday], and that's what we always do. Nothing needs to change."

Kipnis, who grew up a Cubs fan and was born in Northbrook, Illinois, tried to explain what hitting a home run in the World Series at Wrigley Field meant to him, per Meisel:

Cubs manager Joe Maddon acknowledged his team's defensive miscues but once again emphasized the offense needing to step up. 

"So we made mistakes," Maddon said, per the Associated Press (via "Absolutely, we made mistakes tonight. That was part of it. But then again, we just have to do more offensively to give ourselves a chance."

Maddon did take comfort in knowing he will have Lester on the mound in Game 5. 

"To have a guy who's [a] been-there, done-that kind of a guy and been very successful, been a World Series champion, he knows what the feeling is like—he knows what it takes," Maddon said, per Jamal Collier of "It's definitely comforting to the rest of the group for [Sunday]."

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