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– Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis got the final seven outs as Major League Baseball’s defending champions held on to beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 on Thursday and advance to the National League Championship for the third year in a row. The Cubs, who ended their 108-year World Series drought 12 months ago, clinched the best-of-five divisional series against the Nats 3-2 and will now play the Los Angeles Dodgers for a place in this year’s World Series. Washington’s Michael A. Taylor hit a three-run homer in the second inning and drove in four runs for the second game in a row. Addison Russell responded with two hits and four RBIs as the Cubs scored four runs off Nationals ace pitcher Max Scherzer in the fifth inning of the four and a half hour marathon contest.

AFP