October 21, 2016 / 4:56 AM / 2 years ago

Chicago Cubs explode in eighth inning to take 3-2 series lead

(The Sports Xchange) - Addison Russell homered for the second night in a row, and Javier Baez added three RBIs as the Chicago Cubs blew past the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game Five of the National League Championship Series on Thursday.

Oct 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) turns a double play in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers of game five of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs starter Jon Lester (1-0) struck out six, walked one and allowed a run on five hits in seven innings at Dodger Stadium as the Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Chicago can clinch a trip to its first World Series since 1945 with a win in Game Six on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

Russell, who was 2-for-5 with two runs, cranked a tiebreaking, two-run homer off reliever Joe Blanton (0-2) with one out in the fifth to break up a 1-1 tie. Blanton surrendered two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Baez’s bases-clearing double highlighted a five-run eighth as the Cubs pulled away. Baez went 3-for-5, while Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Dexter Fowler had two hits and an RBI apiece.

After being blanked in Games Two and Three, the Cubs outscored the Dodgers 18-6 in Games Four and Five.

Dodgers rookie Kenta Maeda pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed a run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager went 2-for-3. Catcher Carlos Ruiz was 1-for-4 and drove in a run in the eighth, while Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles had RBIs in the ninth.

Fowler led off the game with a single and scored on Rizzo’s RBI double to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Los Angeles’ Howie Kendrick hit a two-bagger with one out in the fourth. After stealing third, Kendrick scored on a groundout by Adrian Gonzalez to tie the score.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner singled in the third to reach base for a club-record 15th consecutive postseason game, dating back to last season. Turner broke Carl Furillo’s mark set in 1953-56, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn.

Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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