With key hit, Crisp moves Indians within two wins of title

CHICAGO (AP) — Back with his original big league team, Coco Crisp came through with the hit that moved the Cleveland Indians within two wins of their first World Series title since 1948.

Crisp came off the bench and singled home the only run in the seventh inning Friday night, giving the Indians a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs and a 2-1 Series lead.

Covelli Loyce Crisp was said to be given the nickname Coco by siblings who thought he resembled a character on the cover of a container of Cocoa Krispies cereal. Known for his speed in his younger days, he topped the AL with 49 steals in 2011.

Now four days shy of his 37th birthday, the switch-hitter is far closer to the end of his career than the start.

Originally drafted by St. Louis in 1999, he was acquired by Cleveland three years later, made his debut with the Indians in 2002 and played for Cleveland through 2005. He moved on to Boston (2006-08), Kansas City (2009) and Oakland (2010-16) but bristled when the Athletics limited his playing time this year, a move that denied him the plate appearances necessary for his $13 million 2017 option to become guaranteed.

Cleveland acquired him for depth, but he has become a key cog in the postseason. His two-run, sixth-inning homer opened a three-run lead against Boston, and the Indians held on for a 4-3 win that completed a Division Series sweep. His fourth-inning solo shot drove in the Indians’ final run in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series against Toronto as the Indians won their first pennant since 1997.

With the World Series tied 1-all and Game 3 scoreless, Crisp pinch hit for reliever Andrew Miller in the seventh inning with one out and runners at the corners.

Crisp lined a 92 mph fastball from reliever Carl Edwards Jr. into short right field, sending pinch-runner Michael Martinez home from third.