Cubs win 8-4, lead NLCS series 3-2

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Thursday was a huge night for the Cubs as they tried to come back to Chicago with the lead in the NLCS against the Dodgers. (WLS)

Thursday was a huge night for the Cubs as they won 8 to 4 in Game 5, taking a 3 to 2 lead in the NLCS series against the Dodgers.

Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago Cubs moved one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday.

The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series and will have two chances to wrap up that elusive pennant back home at Wrigley Field.

The first comes Saturday night in Game 6, when Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw faces major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks.

Emerging star Javier Baez was in the middle of everything for the Cubs, a common theme this October. The second baseman made a sensational defensive play when the game was still close in the seventh inning, and his three-run double capped a five-run eighth that made it 8-1.

There will be a game six in Chicago on Saturday night, but most fans are hoping there won't be a game seven on Sunday night.

The bar at Harry Caray's was packed with Chicago sports fans on Thursday night when both the Cubs and Bears were playing. The Bears were playing the Packers, which is normally a huge event. There were a couple of sets tuned to the game, but no one at Harry Caray's was paying attention to football.

"I don't care about the Bears this year as long as the Cubs win it all," said Blake Stei, another Cubs fan.

Like a lot of fans, many of the folks at Harry Caray's are hoping the baseball season lasts a couple more weeks. Of course, that would mean the Cubs are playing in the World Series.

Actor Joel Murray, along with his better known brother Bill, are hoping the Cubs can wrap this series up quickly.

I hope I don't have to go to the game Sunday night, I want it over on Saturday," said Joel Murray.

That would send them to their first World Series since 1945. They would face the Cleveland Indians, who have their own nearly five decade long championship drought.

Some Clevelanders who didn't want to give their names even braved their way into Harry Caray's.

"It really doesn't matter who we play, but Cleveland will win," said the Cleveland fan.

Relieved after the team ended its two-game scoring drought, Cubs fans can't wait for their boys to get back to Wrigley Saturday night. With their Wednesday night win, the Cubs guaranteed their fans that they'll be back on home turf.

And just like that, the calls for tickets came pouring in.

"I started getting calls after the win last night. They're calling from all over the country, even outside the country. I got a call from Thailand," said Steve Buzil of Sit Close Tickets.

Currently, standing room tickets at Wrigley will run you at least $300.

"It's always better to wait to closer to the game because the market does come down, it does adjust," Buzil said.


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Hope is still alive for Chicago Cubs fans after the team broke its 21-inning drought and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 in NLCS Game 4.

Clark the Cub whipped up excitement as students rallied at Agassiz Elementary Thursday morning on Chicago's North Side.

"I'd just say at the end of the day, I'm hoping for a big win and hopefully we can go to the World Series," student Nadia Latta said.

"I hope the Cubs will win because they haven't won in 108 years," said Jayden Harris, another student.

With all of the fun comes a teaching opportunity.

"We do a lot around goal setting with kids right and the importance of education band talking about where the players came from they didn't just get to be players. Dedication, hard work, education, teamwork," Principal Mira Weber said.

The question now becomes, do the Cubs come home to a Game 6 with a chance to clinch? Or will they come home hoping to force a Game 7?

One Dodgers fan outside the Friendly Confines isn't sure the Cubs can pull it off.

"Yeah I mean if they make it to the World Series, they're going to play the Indians so it's going to be pretty much a cursed series, so I don't know that's why I just want the Dodgers to just win," Dodger fan Rachaun Echols said.

After striking out in his first two at-bats, Anthony Rizzo needed something to bust his slump. He found it in teammate Matt Szczur's bat.

Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series

Using the borrowed lumber, Rizzo homered and ended a postseason skid with three RBIs. The rest of the Chicago Cubs' hitters broke out equally as big in routing the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Wednesday to even the NL Championship Series at 2-all.
"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."

Addison Russell's two-run homer highlighted a four-run fourth that stopped Chicago's 21-inning scoreless streak and ensured the NLCS will return to Wrigley Field for Game 6 on Saturday.

"It's definitely a sigh of relief to have a big night," Russell said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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sportsChicago CubsLos Angeles Dodgersu.s. & worldCalifornia
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