CHICAGO – It wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses for Josh Tomlin at Wrigley Field, and he knew it. So when it came time to start Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night in front of an amped-up hostile crowd, he needed an oasis in a sea of Cubbie Blue.

He found it in the form of his father, Jerry, who was in attendance despite suffering from an arteriovenous malformation that has paralyzed him from the chest down.

“I saw him before the game,” Tomlin said. “I was walking over to the weight room and I had to find him in the stands. That way I knew if it was tough and things started getting sped up on me in the game, I’d be able to look at him and find that comfort there and then settle back down.”

Standing along the first-base line facing a rapidly emptying stadium save for some hardy Indians fans who stuck around to cheer their players, Tomlin said he hadn’t yet had the chance to speak with his dad. He didn’t pitch late enough in the game to earn the win, but Tomlin allowed only two hits and one walk in 4 2/3 innings. Just one batter advanced as far as second base, and that was Ben Zobrist after he led off the second with a single.

Tomlin closed the inning with a groundout from Willson Contreras, a strikeout of Jorge Soler and a flyout from Javier Baez.

“I used that (looking at my dad) a couple times, yeah,” Tomlin said. “I looked up at him. Absolutely.”

The game was “probably one of my emotional starts that I’ve ever had in my entire life,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough for him to even be here, so to have him get to experience a World Series game and obviously my first World Series start, it meant everything.”

Shuffle

Before the game began, Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters to blame him and not the player if Carlos Santana didn’t work out in left field.

Santana made some history in becoming the first player since 1931 to make his first career start at a position during the World Series, but it proved to be mostly inconsequential. Santana caught a pop-up for the second out of the game but otherwise wasn’t put under much duress near the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley.

It was a job he volunteered for.

“I know I have a lot of talent and I can play whatever position Tito needs me (to play),” he said. “I’m prepared. I’m ready to go. Whatever position Tito needs me to play, I’ll play. I’m fine.”

The move was made to keep his bat in the lineup with cleanup hitter Mike Napoli. Both play first base and can serve as the designated hitter.

Batting leadoff, Santana walked twice and struck out to open the game. He was removed as part of a double switch when Andrew Miller relieved Tomlin with two outs in the fifth inning and replaced by Rajai Davis.

Napoli went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Stuff
The Indians pitching staff has now combined for five shutouts this postseason, which is a new Major League record. They’ve also done it with essentially two fully healthy starting pitchers in Corey Kluber and Tomlin.

For that, credit the bullpen aces of Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and, above all, Andrew Miller, who only threw 17 pitches Friday night but still struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings.

“It’s exciting,” Shaw said. “I didn’t know that this was our fifth. Our relievers, our starters, we go out there with our scouting reports and try to execute to the best of our ability. Our hitters do what they do to get us the lead, and we come in and hopefully keep it for them and we’re at where we’re at right now.”