Cubs move one step closer to end­ing 108 years of fail­ure

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

THE Chicago Cubs staged an in­cred­i­ble ninthin­ning rally to de­feat the San Fran­cisco Giants 6-5 and clinch their Ma­jor League Base­ball play­off se­ries on Oc­to­ber 11.

The Giants had looked poised to square the best-of-five se­ries at 2-2 after build­ing a 5-2 lead head­ing into the ninth.

But Chicago’s Ben Zo­brist dou­bled on a line drive to al­low Kris Bryant to scam­per home to make it 5-3 and leave An­thony Rizzo on third.

A sin­gle from Wil­son Con­tr­eras then al­lowed Zo­brist and Rizzo to score to tie it up at 5-5.

Javier Baez fol­lowed with a sin­gle on a ground ball that sent Ja­son Hey­ward over for the win­ning run as Chicago com­pleted a re­mark­able come­back and a 3-1 se­ries win to keep alive their dream of a first World Se­ries crown in 108 years.

“We just got it go­ing and felt some­thing good was go­ing to hap­pen. This win is so huge. We never quit and we aren’t stop­ping now,” Zo­brist said after si­lenc­ing the AT&T Park crowd.

“For us to do this in this sta­dium, with th­ese fans, to be able to quiet them and be able to hear the Cub fans, it was nice.”

The Cubs will now face ei­ther the Los An­ge­les Dodgers or the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als in the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries start­ing Oc­to­ber 15.

The Dodgers stayed alive in their se­ries with the Na­tion­als after Chase Ut­ley sin­gled home An­drew Toles with the win­ning run in the eighth in­ning to clinch a 6-5 Oc­to­ber 12 win. It set up a de­ci­sive fifth game in Wash­ing­ton tonight.

After Wash­ing­ton scored three runs in the sev­enth in­ning to equal­ize, the Dodgers plated the de­cid­ing run in the eighth after Na­tion­als re­lief pitcher Blake Treinen hit Toles to put him on first base.

Toles took third on An­dre Ethier’s sin­gle and scored when the Dodgers’ lead-off man Ut­ley sin­gled to right field.

Los An­ge­les clos­ing re­lief pitcher Ken­ley Jansen re­tired the Na­tion­als in or­der in the ninth and the stage was set for a one-game show­down to see which team ad­vances.

The Dodgers used start­ing pitcher Clayton Ker­shaw on short rest, gam­bling on a strong ef­fort with Los An­ge­les fac­ing elim­i­na­tion, and the move paid off de­spite early trou­ble.

Wash­ing­ton took the lead in the first in­ning, when Trea Turner sin­gled, took sec­ond when Bryce Harper walked and scored on a Daniel Murphy sin­gle.

Los An­ge­les took the lead when they came to bat in the first, with Adrian Gon­za­lez smash­ing a tworun homer over the right-field wall.

Turner scored again in the third to pull the Na­tion­als level. He sin­gled, took third on a Jayson Werth sin­gle and scored on Murphy’s sac­ri­fice fly out.

Ker­shaw helped his cause in the third with a lead-off dou­ble and scored the go-ahead run on a twoout dou­ble by Justin Turner.

Na­tion­als pitcher Joe Ross is­sued two walks to load the bases and then hit Joc Ped­er­son to force in Turner for a 4-2 Dodgers’ lead.

In the fifth, Josh Red­dick sin­gled and scored when Ped­er­son fol­lowed with a two-out dou­ble to left field, boost­ing the Los An­ge­les edge to 5-2.

Wash­ing­ton loaded the bases in the sev­enth in­ning, prompt­ing the Dodgers to re­move Ker­shaw for re­liever Pe­dro Baez, but he struck Werth with a pitch to force in a run and was re­moved for Luis Avi­lan.

Murphy smacked a sin­gle to cen­tre field to score two runs and lift the Na­tion­als level at 5-5. –

Photo: AFP

The Chicago Cubs cel­e­brate after de­feat­ing the San Fran­cisco Giants 6-5 on Oc­to­ber 11 in Game Four of their Na­tional League Divi­sion Se­ries to ad­vance to the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

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