May 24, 2018 / 3:09 AM / 7 months ago

Tribe's Plutko, bullpen stifle Cubs

Right-hander Adam Plutko carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and Michael Brantley drove in the lone run as the Cleveland Indians held on for a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Cleveland swept the two-game series in the teams’ first meeting in Chicago since the 2016 World Series. The Indians climbed back above .500 and maintained their lead in the underwhelming American League Central.

The Cubs scored one run in the series and lost for the third time in the past five games.

Plutko (2-0) made a strong claim to seize the Indians’ No. 5 starter role after earning the first opportunity to replace veteran right-hander Josh Tomlin, who was demoted to the bullpen earlier this week.

In only his second career start, Plutko tossed six hitless innings before Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo doubled to lead off the seventh.

An infield single by Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the next at-bat left runners at first and third and prompted Indians manager Terry Francona to replace Plutko with left-handed reliever Andrew Miller.

Plutko finished with six-plus shutout innings while allowing two hits, walking four and striking out four.

Miller escaped the jam when Javier Baez put down a bunt to try to score Rizzo from third, but Miller easily fielded the ball and threw him out at the plate.

Miller proceeded to strike out Addison Russell and to retire Jason Heyward on a ground ball to first to preserve the shutout.

Indians closer Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.

The Cubs’ futility at the plate spoiled a terrific outing from veteran southpaw Jon Lester (4-2), who limited Cleveland to one run on six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Cleveland scored in the third on Brantley’s run-scoring single. Rajai Davis ripped a leadoff single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Plutko and scored on Brantley’s hit to center field.

Brantley extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .365 (19-for-52) during the streak.

—Field Level Media

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