MLB Roundup: Cubs stun Giants in 9th to advance to NLCS; Dodgers force Game 5 with Nats

SAN FRANCISCO -- Javier Baez capped a four-run rally in the top of the ninth inning with a run-scoring single Tuesday night, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants and a 3-1 win in the National League Division Series.

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS at AT&T Park. (USA TODAY Sports)

SAN FRANCISCO - Javier Baez capped a four-run rally in the top of the ninth inning with a run-scoring single Tuesday night, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants and a 3-1 win in the National League Division Series.

The Cubs move on to their second consecutive NL Championship Series, beginning Saturday at Wrigley Field. They will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals in the best-of-seven series.

The Chicago uprising against five San Francisco relievers denied the Giants an 11th consecutive win in an elimination game, which would have extended their own record.

With Matt Moore limiting the Cubs to two hits over eight innings and Conor Gillaspie contributing four singles to an 11-hit attack, the Giants were three outs away from forcing a fifth and deciding game when they took a 5-2 lead into the ninth.

The Cubs' rally began when Kris Bryant grounded a leadoff single off right-hander Derek Law.


Lefty Javier Lopez came on for one batter and walked Anthony Rizzo, bringing the potential tying run to the plate and producing closer Sergio Romo from the bullpen.

Ben Zobrist greeted Romo with a double into the right field corner, scoring Bryant and putting the tying runs in scoring position with still no outs.

Lefty Will Smith was summoned to face pinch hitter Chris Coghlan, who was pulled in favor of a right-handed hitter, Willson Contreras. The catcher grounded a two-run, game-tying single up the middle.

Jason Heyward was then called upon to sacrifice, and he bunted back to the mound. Smith got the lead runner at second, but Brandon Crawford threw wildly to first base, allowing Heyward to reach second.

The error was Crawford's second of the game.

Baez then singled up the middle against the Giants' fifth pitcher of the inning, Hunter Strickland, to score Heyward with the eventual game-winner.

Aroldis Chapman, who blew a save Monday in the Cubs' 13-inning loss, struck out the side in the ninth to record his third save of the series, sending the Cubs into the next round.

Hector Rondon (1-0), who worked a scoreless eighth inning, got the win. Smith (0-1) was credited with the loss, even though the run off him was unearned.


Dodgers edge Nats, send NLDS to Game 5

LOS ANGELES - Chase Utley's RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, evening the National League Division Series at two games apiece.

Utley singled off reliever Blake Treinen (1-1), allowing the Dodgers to avoid elimination and force a decisive Game 5 on Thursday at Nationals Park.

Daniel Murphy went 2 for 3 and had four RBI for the Nationals, who rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the score in the seventh before Utley drove home Andrew Toles for the game-winner.

Dodgers reliever Joe Blanton (1-0) struck out two in a scoreless 1 1/3 innings for the win. Closer Kenley Jansen also fanned two in a perfect ninth for the save.

Los Angeles held a 5-2 lead in the seventh when the Nationals loaded the bases with singles by Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner and a walk to Bryce Harper off Clayton Kershaw. Manager Dave Roberts replaced Kershaw with Pedro Baez, who promptly hit Jayson Werth with his first pitch, cutting the Dodgers' margin to two runs.

Murphy followed with a two-run single off Luis Avilan to knot the score.

Kershaw, who worked on three days' rest, struck out 11 but was charged with five runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 110 pitches (76 strikes), the most he delivered since returning on Sept. 9 from a herniated disk in his back. Kershaw also doubled and walked in three plate appearances.


Washington starter Joe Ross, making his postseason debut, lasted just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Ross, who threw 55 pitches (30 strikes), also hit two batters.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Murphy's RBI single with one out.

In the bottom of the inning, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run blast to right-center for a 2-1 Los Angeles edge. It was Gonzalez's first home run of the postseason and the sixth of his career, all with the Dodgers.

Murphy tied the score at 2 with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Los Angeles grabbed the lead again in the bottom of the third when Justin Turner's single scored Kershaw, who led off the inning with a double. Then, with the bases loaded, Ross hit Joc Pederson on a full count to score Turner for a 4-2 advantage.

In the fifth, Pederson lined a double to left off reliever Reynaldo Lopez, scoring Josh Reddick to increase the margin to 5-2.

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