Underdog showdown draws big audience to World Series opener

 The Cleveland Indians’ 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Tuesday’s World Series opener drew the largest audience for game one of the Major League Baseball championship since 2009, showing wide interest in two teams that have suffered for decades without bringing home a title.

The broadcast delivered a 12.6 rating, meaning almost 13 percent of U.S. TV households were tuned in, according to preliminary data released by the Fox network, which televised the game. That was the highest rating since the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees faced off in 2009, according to the broadcast unit of 21st Century Fox.

The Cubs and Indians have the longest championship droughts in baseball, with Chicago’s team having last won in 1908. The last time the Indians took home baseball’s championship was 1948. Viewing in those cities was especially high, with almost 50 percent of Cleveland’s TV’s tuned in and 34 percent watching in Chicago. Eight newer teams, including five that joined the majors in 1960s, have never won the World Series.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball moved up the start tonight’s Game 2 by an hour to 6:08 p.m. (CDT ) when Accuweather forecast a 48-degree temperature, a little rain and winds of 10-20 mph. Accuweather said that if rain tracks to the north, there will be a spot shower or two during the game, but if rain remains over the area, it could be steady and cause delays.

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It was overcast and dry at noontime following the Indians’ 6-0 victory in the opener, but wet weather was forecast for the evening.

Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said in a statement: “Game 2 of the World Series looks rather dry to start, but possibly wet to finish, depending on how long the game goes.”

The game will be played to its conclusion, even if one team has a big late-inning lead but there could be a daylong wait to finish if rain forces play to stop before the game is over tonight.

While regular-season games can be shortened because of a bad weather as long as the losing team has completed at least five innings, a rules change approved in 2009 mandates that all postseason games and regular-season tiebreakers must be played to conclusion at the ballpark where they began.

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Thursday is a scheduled off day before the Series is set to resume at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, which last hosted the Series in 1945.