Yanks swamp Astros 5-0 for 3-2 ALCS lead:
By Sam Bush
Jake Arrieta was dominant, Willson Contreras smacked a monster homer and Javier Baez (above) hit two solo shots to boost the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers and extend the National League Championship Series at least one more game.
The Dodgers, bidding for their first trip to the World Series since 1988, have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, which continues tonight at Wrigley Field.
Maddon was ejected in the top of the eighth for arguing an apparent third strike on Curtis Granderson that was reversed to a foul ball.
“It was win or go home,” Arrieta said. “I had that mindset to do everything in my power to get us to [Game 5].”
The Cubs held a players-only meeting prior to Game 4 in which some of the veterans spoke, including Jason Heyward, who led the inspirational get-together during the rain delay in Game 7 of the World Series last November. Whatever the message was, Chicago now has some hope.
The Dodgers’ pitchers, especially the relievers, have stymied the Cubs, and starter Alex Wood had his moments. Despite allowing the three homers, the lefty struck out seven over 4 2/3 innings, then turned it over to the bullpen, which hasn’t allowed a run in the series covering 14 innings.
“I thought he threw the ball well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Wood. “When you give up three homers — but the two to Baez were down below the zone. He took two good swings on those balls and hit them out of the ballpark, and the one to Contreras, elevated fastball. But for not pitching in three weeks, I thought he was sharp, competed and gave us a chance to win.”
Arrieta, a pending free agent who may have made his last start for the Cubs, posted the longest outing by a Chicago starter in the NLCS presented by Camping World, striking out nine over 6 2/3 innings.