Cubs beat Na­tion­als

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Howard FENDRICH

WASH­ING­TON — The Chicago Cubs win when­ever they need to, with what­ever it takes, even a seven-out save by Wade Davis to pre­serve a shrink­ing lead and a “Did that really hap­pen?” four-run in­ning against Wash­ing­ton’s Max Scherzer in a thriller of a Game 5.

That wild, bat-around fifth in­ning Thurs­day night for Chicago in­cluded Ad­di­son Rus­sell’s go-ahead two-run dou­ble, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and a dis­puted dropped third strike fol­lowed by a throw­ing er­ror, help­ing the de­fend­ing World Se­ries cham­pion Cubs come back – and then hold on – to edge the Na­tion­als 9-8 and reach the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries for the third year in a row.

Rus­sell drove in a to­tal of four runs, and Davis, Chicago’s sev­enth pitcher, turned in his long­est ap­pear­ance since 2012. The Cubs trailed 4-1, then led 8-4 and 9-6, in a game that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours and ended af­ter mid­night on Fri­day. Catcher Will­son Con­tr­eras picked off Jose Lo­ba­ton at first base to quash a Wash­ing­ton threat in the eighth and Davis fanned a swing­ing Bryce Harper for the fi­nal out.

Chicago, which sur­passed its to­tal of eight runs in the first four games of the NL Divi­sion Se­ries, ad­vanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will start ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw at home in Game 1 of the NLCS on Sat­ur­day night.

For man­ager Joe Mad­don and the Cubs, this was their fourth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in a win-or-be-elim­i­nated post­sea­son game.

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