Dodgers One Victory Away From World Series Berth


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to win their first National League pennant since 1988 tonight when they face the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.

The Dodgers defeated the Cubs, 6-1, in Game 3 Tuesday to take a three games to none lead in the best-of-seven series. All but one of the previous 36 Major League Baseball teams to take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series has won the series, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The lone exception is the 2004 New York Yankees, who lost the American League Championship Series to the Boston Red Sox. Twenty-nine of the teams have swept the series.

Of the Dodgers seven victories in best-of-seven series, their only sweep was in the 1963 World Series against the Yankees.

``We're excited up 3-0,'' said shortstop-outfielder Chris Taylor, whose solo home run in the third inning gave the Dodgers a lead they never relinquished. He also tripled in Joc Pederson with an insurance run in the fifth.

``But honestly, we've just been taking it one game at a time and focusing on getting one win, so we'll come in with the same mindset'' today ``and focus on getting that one win.''

Left-hander Alex Wood will start for the Dodgers against right-hander Jake Arrieta. Wood will be pitching for the first time since Sept. 26 when he held the San Diego Padres to two runs over six innings in a 9-2 victory.

``I'm really excited to have it be my turn and hopefully kind of throw well,'' said Wood, who had a career-high 16 victories and a career-low 2.72 ERA in the regular season.

Wood started twice against Chicago and had a 1-0 record with a 1.04 ERA, holding the Cubs to a .172 batting average.

Arrieta will be making his second appearance of the 2017 postseason. He allowed an unearned run and two hits in four innings in Chicago's 5-0 loss in Game 4 of the National League Division Series last Wednesday.

Arrieta pitched once against the Dodgers in the regular season, allowing four runs and five hits in six innings in a 4-0 loss May 26 at Dodger Stadium.

Starter Yu Darvish and four Dodger relievers held the Cubs scoreless Tuesday after Kyle Schwarber's solo homer with one out in the bottom of the first. Darvish was credited with the win, allowing one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one.

Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks, a former standout at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Andre Ethier's solo homer in the top of the second tied the score.

Carl Edwards Jr., who had relieved Hendricks three batters earlier, walked Darvish on four pitches with two outs in the sixth to force in Yasiel Puig, who had led off the inning by reaching first on a fielding error by third baseman Kris Bryant.

Puig moved to second on Ethier's single and third on Chase Utley's ground out. Edwards walked Austin Barnes to load the bases.

The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth. Mike Montgomery walked Logan Forsythe on a full count. Forsythe moved to second on Barnes' single and to third on Montgomery's wild pitch. Forsythe scored on a passed ball by catcher Willson Contreras as Charlie Culberson struck out.

Barnes scored on pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer's sacrifice fly.

Tuesday's game marked the seventh time in Chicago's eight 2017 postseason games they had been held to three runs or less, including all three against the Dodgers.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he won't call a team meeting in an attempt to improve its hitting.

``I have three meetings during the season -- one in spring training, one at the All-Star break, and one before the first playoff game,'' Maddon said. ``There is nothing inspirational I could possibly say that's going to make a difference. We've just got to go out and play our normal game.''


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