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Dodgers on brink of World Series after 6-1 win

The Sports Xchange
October 18. 2017 1:28AM
A fan of the Chicago Cubs in the stands after Tuesday's game three of the 2017 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. (Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports)

Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish celebrates after the Cubs’ John Jay grounded into a double play in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s Game 3 of the 2017 NLCS at Wrigley Field. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

CHICAGO — Chris Taylor homered and drove in two runs, and Yu Darvish allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers moved to within a victory of the National League pennant with a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The Dodgers, who last reached the World Series in 1988, can advance with a win in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Darvish struck out seven, scattered six hits and walked just one as the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS. Darvish also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning.

The Cubs, who hadn’t managed a hit off the Dodgers bullpen in the NLCS, put runners on second and third in the ninth when Alex Avila singled and Albert Almora Jr. followed with a double off of right-hander Ross Stripling. However, Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen got Addison Russell to pop out to first and then struck out Tommy La Stella and Ian Happ to close out the victory.

The Dodgers led 3-1 entering the sixth. After Yasiel Puig reached on an error by Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Andre Ethier singled and Austin Barnes walked to load the bases. Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr., after getting Joc Pederson to fly out for the second out, walked Darvish on four pitches to extend the margin to three.

Los Angeles tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning to break the game open. After a walk to Logan Forsythe and a Barnes single, Forsythe scored when Mike Montgomery’s pitch bounded off the arm of catcher Willson Contreras, which allowed Barnes to advance to third base. Pinch hitter Kyle Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly that gave the Dodgers their biggest lead.

Chicago jumped out to the lead for the third straight time in the NLCS. Kyle Schwarber homered off Darvish with one out in the first inning. The Cubs, who struggled to mount much offense in a pair of weekend losses, got hits from three of their first five batters but failed to add to their lead and stranded a pair of runners after the Schwarber homer.

With Los Angeles trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Ethier drew the Dodgers even with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw from Kyle Hendricks.

Taylor broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning with a 444-foot solo home run to dead center field.

Taylor provided the Dodgers with a 3-1 lead with a fifth-inning RBI triple down the third base line that scored Pederson, who led off with a double.

Hendricks, who struggled with his command, allowed at least two home runs for the second consecutive postseason start. He gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in five-plus innings.

NOTES: Dodgers C Austin Barnes started his fourth straight game. Manager Dave Roberts opted to keep Barnes in the lineup as opposed to Yasmani Grandal, who has struggled against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks. Roberts said Tuesday he expects Grandal to start in Game 4 on Wednesday against Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta. ... Cubs LF Kyle Schwarber’s first-inning home run gave him six postseason homers, which ties him with 1B Anthony Rizzo for the franchise record. ... Chicago 2B Javy Baez did not start for the first time in the NLCS as he was mired in an 0-for-19 postseason slump. Manager Joe Maddon said he prefers to have Baez in the game for defensive purposes, but instead started Ben Zobrist, who hit in the leadoff spot for Chicago. Baez popped out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. ... Rizzo snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a sixth-inning single.

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