>>Strasburg, Nationals Blank Cubs, Force Game 5 Tonight
Stephen Strasburg shook off an illness and pitched seven dominant innings, Michael A. Taylor hit a late grand slam and the Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Wednesday to send their NL Division Series to a decisive Game 5.
Strasburg struck out 12 , allowed three hits and walked two. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft has 22 Ks in 14 innings in the series, allowing only a pair of unearned runs in the sixth in the opener.
Chicago wasted a gutsy performance from Jake Arrieta and solid relief by Game 2 starter Jon Lester in its first home playoff loss since Game 4 of the World Series last year. NL MVP Kris Bryant struck out four times, and the defending champs went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Arrieta limited Washington to an unearned run and two hits. Lester got the Cubs all the way to the eighth, picking off Ryan Zimmerman before departing after Daniel Murphy's two-out single.
But Chicago's bullpen faltered from there. Carl Edwards Jr. walked two in a row and threw ball one to Taylor before he was replaced by Wade Davis. Taylor then drove a 1-1 pitch into the basket overhanging the brick wall in right field for his first career homer in the playoffs.
Ryan Madson worked the eighth and Doolittle finished the three-hitter, giving the NL East champions a chance to avenge years of playoff heartache.
The Nationals jumped in front in the third, taking advantage of a Chicago error for the second straight game. Trea Turner doubled with one out for his first hit of the series and advanced on a wild pitch. Jayson Werth struck out looking before Arrieta walked Bryce Harper, putting runners on the corners.
Zimmerman followed with a slow roller to shortstop. Addison Russell charged the ball, but he couldn't bring it in.
Kyle Hendricks starts for the World Series champion Cubs after throwing seven sharp innings in a 3-0 victory over Strasburg in Game 1.
>>Gregorius' Two Homers Lead Yankees Past Indians
Didi Gregorius homered twice off Corey Kluber as New York beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to complete its comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series and dethrone the AL champions.
Gregorius hit a solo homer in the first off Kluber and added a two-run shot in the third off Cleveland's ace
The Indians closed to 3-2 in the fifth against starter CC Sabathia before David Robertson pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings for the win. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman worked two innings for the save.