CLEVELAND (WLS) --Jake Arrieta made a teasing run at history, Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs and the Chicago Cubs brushed off a shutout to even the World Series with their first Fall Classic win in 71 years, 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, briefly invoking Don Larsen's name, before the Indians touched him for two hits and a run. However, the right-hander helped give Chicago just what it needed - a split at Progressive Field - before the Cubbies return to their Wrigley Field den for the next three games starting Friday night.
The Cubs hadn't won in the Series since beating Detroit 8-7 in 1945 to force Game 7.
The free-swinging Schwarber, who made it back for Chicago's long-awaited Series return after missing most of the season with an injured left knee, hit an RBI single in the third off Cleveland's Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs' three-run fifth - highlighted by Ben Zobrist's run-scoring triple.
Even the presence of star LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers, sporting their new rings, couldn't stop the Indians from losing for the first time in six home games this postseason.
And Cleveland manager Terry Francona's magical touch in October finally fizzled as he dropped to 9-1 in Series games.
With rain in the forecast, Major League Baseball moved the first pitch up an hour in hopes of avoiding delays or a postponement.
It turned out to be a good call as the game went on without a hitch and ended after more than four hours as light rain was beginning to fall.
Arrieta and the Cubs provided the only storm.
The bearded 30-year-old coasted through five innings without allowing a hit, the first pitcher to get that deep in a Series game with a no-hitter since David Cone of the New York Yankees in 1998.
For a brief period, Arrieta looked as if he might challenge Larsen's gem - a perfect game - in 1956 before Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, a die-hard Cubs fan as a kid, doubled with one out in the sixth.
Before that, Cleveland hitters had a couple good swings, and drew three walks, but couldn't mount a real threat. Arrieta has two career no-hitters, in fact, including the only one in the majors this year.
Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery replaced Arrieta and worked two scoreless innings before Aroldis Chapman came in and unleashed his 103 mph heat while getting the last four outs.
The teams will have an off day before the series resumes with Game 3 at Wrigley, which will host its first Series game since Oct. 6, 1945, when tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave with his pet goat, Murphy, and a curse was born.
Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians, who will lose the designated hitter in the NL ballpark, against Kyle Hendricks.
Schwarber might also wind up on the bench after two days as the DH.
With a gametime temperature of 43, the weather was more fitting for the Browns and Bears to bang heads than the boys of summer.
The Cubs were the ones who came up thumping after being blanked 6-0 in Game 1 by Corey Kluber and Cleveland's shut-down bullpen.
Zobrist's one-out triple triggered the fifth as the Cubs opened a 5-0 lead, not that Arrieta needed it.
After Anthony Rizzo walked following a 10-pitch at-bat, Zobrist laced a ball off Zach McAllister that was going to be a double until right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall slipped and fell. Rizzo was waved around and Zobrist hustled into third.
Schwarber followed with his second RBI and reliever Bryan Shawn later walked No. 9 hitter Addison Russell with the bases loaded.
Unlike his start in Toronto on Oct. 17, when his stitched cut opened up and Bauer was forced to make a bloody departure in the first inning, his finger held up fine.
The Cubs, though, put a few nicks in him in 3 2/3 innings.
The drone accident has brought attention to the quirky Bauer, and one Chicago fan tried to rattle the right-hander by sending a smaller version of the remote-controlled, flying object that cut him.
Bauer posted a photo of it on Twitter, saying "I see the Cubs fans love me! How nice of them to send me a gift!"
The Cubs, who were off balance from the start against Kluber, scored their first run in a Series game since '45 in the first on Rizzo's RBI double.
Bauer needed 51 pitches to get through two innings, and he was one strike from getting out of the third unscathed when Chicago turned a walk and to singles into a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs also congratulated third baseman Kris Bryant Wednesday for winning the 2016 Hank Aaron Award for most outstanding offensive player in the National League.
WRIGLEYVILLE COMES ALIVE AT CUBS COMEBACK
There were a whole lot of smiling faces in Wrigleyville, starting in the first inning when the Cubs scored their first run. Fans said it was great to see their bats come alive.
"First inning, if they score it's almost game over," said fan John Leszczynski.
"I think the team actually started attacking the zone," said fan Peter Carrizales.
As the series heads to Wrigley Field and the fans head to Wrigleyville, some bars are charging premium pricing, as much as $250 per person which includes food and drink but not a table. The Cubby Bear is charging $100 just for cover.
Bar owners said special event pricing is nothing new - it happens on New Year's, for instance - but some fans are turned off.
"Not a chance. That's just way too expensive. I live, and I work, in the neighborhood and I don't have $250 just to walk in and watch the game. That's ridiculous," said Kristy Johnson, Cubs fan.
A number of bars are not charging cover, including Murphy's Bleachers, but lines will be long and chances are you'll be watching the game standing up.
At Lakeview's Illinois Masonic Medical Center Cubs cheer was injured into the hospital's leadership meeting.
"We're very excited for the Cubs. I work in the emergency room. We've been waiting al week for this," said Anna Scaccia.
Companies everywhere are getting into the Cubs spirit, knowing full well that getting their employees to focus 100 percent on their jobs this week may be an exercise in futility.
"This is one of those things where you can take advantage of loss of productivity and create some culture around it," said Andy Challenger, of Challenger, Grey & Christmas.
Challenger, an outplacement expert, said that while millions of dollars are likely being lost around the area as a result of people coming in late or being sleep deprived from late nights up watching the game, it's a short-term loss that can easily be offset.
"They're allowing us to wear our Cubs paraphernalia so you know what? It's boosting morale and starting a lot of conversation. Everyone is so excited. This is a once in a lifetime thing for most of us," said county employee and Cubs fan William Eaddy.
As for sleep, well, it's overrated.
"As long as I can stay busy, I'm fine. Yesterday we had a meeting and I was starting to lose it," said Kate Valles.
Chicago police prepared for thousands of fans in and around the Friendly Confines during Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5, if necessary. Games 6 and 7, if needed, will be played in Cleveland.
Bars and officials are preparing for hundreds of thousands of fans to descend on Wrigleyville for the three home games this weekend at Wrigley Field. There will be a heavy police presence, and the Cubs are hiring their own private security as well. Bars will be removing patio furniture from the sidewalks and all drinks will be served in plastic cups - no aluminum cans or glass bottles allowed.
There are also extensive street closures and parking restrictions in place for the home games, and CTA will be providing extra service for those headed to Wrigleyville for the games.
Click here for a complete list of parking restrictions, street closures, additional CTA service and all other information you need if you're heading to Wrigleyville this weekend.
WORLD SERIES TICKET PRICES
According to TickPick.com, "a no-fee ticket marketplace," the average price for tickets to World Series games at Wrigley Field dropped after the Cubs lost Game 1.
Over the weekend, the average ticket price was $10,590. That price went down to $7,977 Wednesday.
TickPick said the average price for World Series tickets to Cubs home games hovered between $7,000 and $12,000 in the last month. The average price for World Series tickets to Indians home games hovered between $2,000 and $5,000 in the same time period.
CHICAGO AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM AUCTIONS WORLD SERIES TICKETS
A Chicago after-school program is auctioning two pairs of front-row seats for Game 3 on eBay.
Off the Street Club offers tutoring and mentoring for youth in West Garfield Park, one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.
The four tickets are for seats behind the Cubs dugout. Tuesday afternoon, about 40 bids had raised the value of each set to $10,600.
To bid on the tickets, visit: http://www.ebay.com/rpp/charityshop/cubs-tickets
For more about the Off the Street Club, visit https://www.facebook.com/OTSC/
ULTIMATE CUBS MAN CAVE
Stewart McVicker has a sports den to rival all others at his home in northwest suburban Lake in the Hills.
McVicker is a super Cubs fan - and it shows. His basement is decked out with so much Cubs memorabilia that it looks like a sports bar.
He's holding World Series watch parties this week. What a place to cheer on the Cubs!