Cubs edge Nats in thriller

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - (Reuters)

Ad­di­son Rus­sell had two hits and four RBIs as the Chicago Cubs scored four runs off Max Scherzer in the fifth in­ning to beat the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als 9-8 on Thurs­day in the fifth and de­cid­ing game of their Na­tional League Di­vi­sion Se­ries.

The Na­tion­als had a chance to tie the game in the eighth, but backup catcher Jose Lo­ba­ton, who en­tered the game for starter Matt Wi­eters, was picked off first for the last out.

The win­ning pitcher was Cubs re­liever Brian Dues­ning (1-0), who recorded two outs with­out giv­ing up a run. Chicago closer Wade Davis al­lowed one run but got the fi­nal seven outs for his third save of the se­ries.

The Cubs ad­vance to play the Dodgers on Satur­day in Los An­ge­les in Game One of the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries. Wash­ing­ton has lost in the first round of all four of its play­off show­ings since 2012.

The game fea­tured 15 walks and three wild pitches.

Rus­sell hit an RBI dou­ble in the sixth to give the Cubs an 8-4 lead. The Na­tion­als scored two in the bot­tom of the sixth as Jayson Werth came home on a wild pitch and Daniel Mur­phy added an RBI dou­ble to make it 8-6.

The Cubs’ Kris Bryant drove in a run in the sev­enth on a fielder’s choice to make it 9-6. The Na­tion­als chal­lenged that Jon Jay’s slide into Mur­phy at sec­ond amounted to in­ter­fer­ence, but the call stood.

Bryce Harper drove in a run with a sac­ri­fice fly in the sev­enth and Michael A. Tay­lor had an RBI hit in the eighth to make it 9-8. Tay­lor also hit a three-run homer in the sec­ond in­ning. He drove in four runs for the sec­ond game in a row, as he hit a grand slam in Chicago on Wed­nes­day. Jay led off the game with a dou­ble that stood af­ter a re­ply chal­lenge. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground­out by An­thony Rizzo. The Na­tion­als scored four in the sec­ond in­ning as Mur­phy led off with a homer, and later in the in­ning Tay­lor hit a three-run shot to left to make it 4-1.

In the third, the Cubs trimmed the lead to 4-3 as Rus­sell drove in a run on a grounder, and another run scored on a wild pitch.

Chicago then scored four runs in the fifth off Wash­ing­ton ace Scherzer, who took over af­ter Matt Al­bers threw a score­less fourth.

Rus­sell had a two-run dou­ble and scored on a throw­ing er­ror by Wi­eters. Scherzer then hit Jay with a pitch with the bases loaded with two outs to make it 7-4.

Wash­ing­ton starter Gio Gon­za­lez al­lowed three runs in three in­nings. Cubs starter Kyle Hen­dricks went four in­nings and gave up four runs on nine hits.

Chicago Cubs’ Ad­di­son Rus­sell hits a two-run dou­ble against the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als in the top of the fifth in­ning of the Na­tional League play­offs at Na­tion­als Park in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

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