The best team in baseball took another big step toward a meeting with the Cleveland Indians in the World Series on Thursday.
The Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4, as starting pitcher Jon Lester continued his torrid postseason.
The lefty pitched 7 innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six over 108 pitches.
He received run support early when Anthony Rizzo, who is officially out of his playoffs slump, doubled to right field to plate Dexter Fowler.
Then, in the sixth, another formerly struggling young Cubs infielder, Addison Russell, hit a two-run bomb to regarin the lead for Chicago.
Javier Baez continued to make spectacular plays in the field, taking away a leadoff infield single from Adrian Gonzalez in the bottom of the seventh by fielding and throwing a swinging bunt perfectly.
The Cubs added five runs of insurance in the top of the eighth off Pedro Baez, the slowest-working reliever in Major League Baseball.
The high-scoring game, combined with Baez’s outing and six pitching changes by Los Angeles contributed to a long contest that lated four hours, 16 minutes.
The teams return to Wrigley Field as Chicago looks to put away the Dodgers, who will throw Clayton Kershaw in a potential elimination game on Saturday.
As they did at AT&T Park after eliminating the San Francisco Giants, Cubs fans lingered at Dodger Stadium long after the game was over to celebrate.