Cubs break out to tie se­ries

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Beth Harris

An­thony Rizzo, Ad­di­son Rus­sell and the rest of the Chicago Cubs’ bats broke out in a big way as they routed the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Wed­nes­day to even the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries at 2-all.

LOS ANGELES >> An­thony Rizzo, Ad­di­son Rus­sell and the rest of the Chicago Cubs’ bats broke out in a big way.

Rizzo home­red and ended a post­sea­son slump with three RBIs, Rus­sell’s two-run drive high­lighted a four-run fourth that stopped Chicago’s 21-in­ning score­less streak, and the Cubs routed the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Wed­nes­day to even the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries at 2-all.

Kenta Maeda is set to pitch for the Dodgers in Game 5 on Thurs­day against Jon Lester. Be­fore the game, man­ager Dave Roberts said he will not start Clay­ton Ker­shaw on short rest af­ter the Los Angeles ace threw a bullpen ses­sion Wed­nes­day.

Chicago en­sured the NLCS will re­turn to Wrigley Field for Game 6 Satur­day.

To break out of his pro­longed slump, Rizzo used team­mate Matt Szczur’s bat.

“I know Szczur’s bat has a lot of hits in it,” Rizzo said. “I’ve done it a few times this year, just switch­ing up the bat, switch­ing up the mind­set.”

Fol­low­ing con­sec­u­tive shutout losses, the Cubs rapped out 13 hits on an 80-de­gree night with the warm Santa Ana winds flut­ter­ing the flags in cen­ter field.

Rizzo and Rus­sell had three hits each. Chicago’s 3-4-5 hit­ters — a com­bined 2 for 32 in the first three games — busted out. Ev­ery Cubs starter got at least one hit ex­cept Kris Bryant, who walked twice.

“To­day was a must-win for us,” Ben Zo­brist said.

Los Angeles was lim­ited to six hits and made four er­rors in a game that dragged on for 3 hours, 58 min­utes.

Mike Mont­gomery won in re­lief of John Lackey, who was chased af­ter con­sec­u­tive walks open­ing the fifth. Four days shy of his 38th birth­day, Lackey al­lowed two runs, three hits and three walks.

Julio Urias, at 20 years, 68 days the youngest post­sea­son start­ing pitcher in ma­jor league his­tory, gave up four runs and four hits in 3 2/3 in­nings. He was the third con­sec­u­tive left­hander to start the se­ries for Los Angeles.

Chicago rat­tled off three straight hits to open the fourth, sparked by Zo­brist’s lead­off bunt sin­gle to third.

“With the way that our bats were swing­ing it at the begin­ning of the game, we just had to do any­thing we could. That was my thought process,” Zo­brist said. “I felt like if he threw a strike, I could get one down in a good spot and was able to do it.

He took sec­ond on Javier Baez’s sin­gle to left, and Will­son Con­tr­eras fol­lowed with a sin­gle to nearly the same spot in shal­low left, scor­ing Zo­brist.

Baez moved up to third and Con­tr­eras took sec­ond on left fielder An­drew Toles’ er­rant throw to the plate that skid­ded all the way to the back­stop.

Jayson Hey­ward hit a run-scor­ing ground­out, and Rus­sell fol­lowed with his first ex­tra-base hit since Sept. 30 and his first homer since Sept. 19. He ju­bi­lantly pumped an arm as he rounded the bases on his two-run drive, which put the Cubs ahead 4-0.

Rizzo home­red off Pe­dro Baez lead­ing off the fifth, snap­ping his 0-for-11 skid in the se­ries. Rizzo had en­tered 2 for 26 in the post­sea­son.

Los Angeles closed to 5-2 in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Justin Turner’s likely dou­ble­play grounder car­omed off Mont­gomery’s out­stretched glove and Rus­sell, who scram­bled on all fours at short­stop as the ball went into left-cen­ter field for a two-run sin­gle.

Chicago tacked on five runs in the sixth off re­liev­ers Ross Stripling and Luis Avi­lan. Dex­ter Fowler sin­gled in the first run, Rizzo added two more on a bases­loaded sin­gle and Javier Baez hit a sac­ri­fice fly, with a sec­ond run scor­ing on an er­ror by cen­ter fielder Joc Ped­er­son.

You’re out on re­play

Dodgers first base­man Adrian Gon­za­lez was tagged out at home to end the sec­ond. A slid­ing Gon­za­lez stretched his left hand to­ward the tip of the plate as catcher Con­tr­eras ap­plied the tag with his left hand near Gon­za­lez’s up­per left arm.

The Dodgers chal­lenged An­gel Her­nan­dez’s call, which was up­held on video re­view. That drew on­line scorn from Washington star Bryce Harper.

“He was safe! Re­play sys­tem still broke..Same thing all year long! (hash­tag) Dont Mess It Up,” Harper tweeted.

Scully Re­turns

Hall of Fame broad­caster Vin Scully will at­tend Thurs­day’s game, his first time back at Dodger Sta­dium since call­ing his last home game on Sept. 25. The 88-year-old ended his 67-year ca­reer this month with the reg­u­larsea­son fi­nale at San Fran­cisco.


Chicago Cubs’ An­thony Rizzo hits a two-run scor­ing sin­gle dur­ing the sixth in­ning of Game 4 of the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wed­nes­day.

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