SAN FRANCISCO -- Javier Baez's tiebreaking single capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5 on Tuesday night in Game 4 to win their NL Division Series.
Chasing their first World Series title since 1908, the Cubs will open the NL Championship Series at home Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals. That matchup is tied 2-all heading into the deciding Game 5 on Thursday.
Held to two hits over eight innings by Matt Moore, the Cubs trailed 5-2 before coming back against a beleaguered bullpen that sabotaged San Francisco one last time.
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Now, the Cubs are going back to their second consecutive NLCS after finally ending San Francisco's remarkable winning streak in postseason elimination games.
Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras tied it with a two-run single with none out. Baez singled in the go-ahead run two batters later, and the Cubs capitalized on Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford's second costly error and more untimely blunders by the Giants' once-reliable relief staff.
One day after getting tagged in the eighth inning of an eventual 6-5, 13-inning loss, Aroldis Chapman closed this one out by striking out the side in order. When he set down Brandon Belt to end it, Chapman's teammates rushed to the mound to hug him and begin the celebration (see full recap).
Utley delivers late to help Dodgers force Game 5
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw left with a lead in the seventh inning and the bases loaded. After the bullpen faltered, veterans Chase Utley and Andre Ethier rescued the Dodgers.
Utley singled home the tiebreaking run with two outs in the eighth, and Los Angeles avoided elimination Tuesday with a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals that forced a deciding Game 5 in their NL playoff.
Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for a save, one day after giving up four late runs during Los Angeles' loss in Game 3.
"I got out there and focused and fought," he said.
Game 5 is Thursday in Washington, with 20-game winner Max Scherzer set to pitch for the Nationals.
"Man, this is going to be a heck of a ballgame," Scherzer said. "The effort from both sides over the first four games has been incredible. Great pitching, great hitting, defense, everything."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he will use left-hander Rich Hill and rookie Julio Urias, but did not announce which one will start.
"If anyone gives up on this team, they haven't seen us play a whole lot this year," Roberts said, "and it starts with what Clayton did -- short rest and leaving it all out there. Everyone fed off that" (see full recap).