WASHINGTON (AP) — Addison Russell drove in four runs, Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, and the Chicago Cubs reached their third NL Championship Series in a row by edging the Washington Nationals 9-8 in a thriller of a Game 5.
The defending World Series champion Cubs trailed 4-1 before scoring four runs in the fifth inning off two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. They then led 9-6 and held on, with the help of Davis’ longest appearance since 2012 and a key pickoff by catcher Willson Contreras in a game that lasted more than 4½ hours and ended after midnight Friday. Davis struck out a swinging Bryce Harper to finish it off.
Chicago, which surpassed its total of eight runs in the first four games of the Division Series, advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will start ace Clayton Kershaw at home in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night.
For manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs, this was their fourth consecutive victory in a win-or-be-eliminated postseason game. That includes three straight to end the 2016 World Series, when Chicago trailed the Cleveland Indians 3-1 before forcing a Game 7 won by the Cubs in 10 innings.