On the same night the Cavaliers commemorated their first NBA championship, the Indians moved within three victories of their first title since 1948. Cleveland repeated a formula the team perfected during the first two rounds of these playoffs. The offense scraped together enough production to secure an early lead. The pitching staff held the line, unbending in the face of the sluggers from Boston, then Toronto and now Chicago. Perez swatted a pair of homers, including a three-run, doubt-remover in the eighth.
The twin bill, the product of a rare convergence between the baseball season and the basketball season, transformed the area around the Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field into a block party. Fans clogged Euclid Avenue five hours before the first pitch. Vendors hawked shirts and copies of The Plain Dealer.