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Baez homer gives Cubs Game 1 victory vs. Giants

CHICAGO - Joe Maddon had a feeling the game might end up like this. Javier Baez clubbed a one-out homer in the eighth inning, supplying the Chicago Cubs' lone run in a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at Wrigley Field. Th...

CHICAGO - Joe Maddon had a feeling the game might end up like this.

Javier Baez clubbed a one-out homer in the eighth inning, supplying the Chicago Cubs' lone run in a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at Wrigley Field.

The victory gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the National League Division Series.

"Runs were hard to manufacture because both pitchers were doing so well, there wasn't enough baserunners, there wasn't a whole lot of hard contact," said Maddon, the Cubs manager. "I wasn't thinking that, but more than likely a game like that would end with a home run."

Offense was scarce thanks to outstanding pitching from Cubs left-hander Jon Lester and Giants right hander Johnny Cueto.

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"I felt good, but we kept giving up base hits," said Lester, who picked up the win after allowing five hits and striking out five batters in an efficient 86-pitch outing. "I think the first three innings we had leadoff hits. ... But as the game got on, we started making better pitches and figuring out what guys were trying to do."

Lester retired 13 straight between the fourth and eighth innings.

Aroldis Chapman entered in the ninth and gave up one hit to secure the win and a save.

"I thought (Lester) was real calm in his demeanor tonight. I thought he looked very comfortable out there," Maddon said. "Cueto was also very good."

Cueto kept the Cubs off base until the fourth inning, struck out a career postseason-high 10 batters and allowed just three hits.

"We both were pitching a great ballgame and were obviously were aware that one run was going to decide the game," Cueto said.

The eighth-inning homer by Baez came on a 3-2 pitch and landed in the left field basket.

"Obviously, I was trying to get on base," Baez said. "I was thinking about bunting and the third baseman was playing in. Cueto was pitching me inside all night, (I was) just waiting for him to make a mistake and he finally did."

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Chapman allowed a two-out double to Buster Posey in the ninth but got Hunter Pence to ground out to Baez at second to lock down the victory and claim a save.

Cueto, who took the loss, otherwise had a crisp three-hitter but topped 100 pitches by the eighth inning and closed with 118. He struck out 10 while walking none.

"Both (Cueto and Lester) were outstanding," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We saw a game where it was hard to pitch better than those two guys. Johnny threw a beautiful game and the guy (Baez) got enough of it to leave the ballpark."

The low-scoring outcome was the sixth straight one-run game between the teams, including four at Wrigley Field in early September.

The Giants threatened with two outs in the fourth when Angel Pagan lined a 3-1 pitch to left for what appeared to be the final out. Instead, the ball slipped past the outstretched glove of Ben Zobrist for a hit that also advanced Posey to third. Lester escaped the inning as Brandon Crawford grounded to short.

Kris Bryant's one-out double to left in the bottom of the fourth was theCubs' first hit of the game. But Chicago came up empty as Anthony Rizzo and Zobrist followed with groundouts to second.

Cubs catcher David Ross thwarted potential Giants threats with two pickoffs in the early going on a night featuring several defensive gems.

Ross threw out Gorkys Hernandez at second in the opening inning and then caught Conor Gillaspie leading too far off first base in the third.

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Ross lined a long fly to left center in the Cubs' third that would have gone for extra bases except for a sliding catch by Hernandez on the warning track.

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