Baez bashes two homers as Cubs stay alive

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- CHICAGO -- Wade Davis peered toward home plate and prepared to throw his 48th and most important pitch of the game Wednesday night.

With a runner on first base, Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger represented the winning run at the plate. Justin Turner and his imposing bat waited on deck.

The Chicago closer unleashed a 92 mph four-seam fastball. It saved both the game and the season for the Cubs, as Bellinger grounded into a game-ending double play.

Chicago held on for a 3-2 win over the Dodgers to stave off elimination in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. Javier Baez hit two home runs and Willson Contreras homered once for the Cubs, who trimmed their series deficit to 3-1.

Game 5 is scheduled for Thursday night at Wrigley Field.

"Great to have this win," said Baez, the second baseman who fielded Bellinger's grounder and whipped a throw to shortstop Addison Russell to start the double play. "Because, if not, we were going home."

Chicago improved to 11-15 when facing elimination.

"I want there to be pressure," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing a foul-tip call. "I want there to be a carrot at the end of the stick. I want all of that."

Bellinger and Turner each hit solo home runs for the Dodgers. The defeat snapped a six-game postseason win streak for Los Angeles, which remains one victory shy of reaching the World Series for the first time since 1988.

"We don't expect anyone to lay down," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It's a very talented group. They're the world champs, and you know they're going to fight to the end. So today, they did.

"We got beat today. And I think the thing is, you can't win them all."

Right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-0) battled into the seventh inning in what might have been his final game with the Cubs. The soon-to-be free agent allowed one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked five and struck out nine.

Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (0-1) allowed three solo home runs and a single in 4 2/3 innings in his first career postseason start. He walked none and struck out seven.

Davis posted the highest pitch count of his career, in the regular season or postseason, among games in which he earned a save. He allowed a home run to Turner to lead off the eighth and pitched around three walks to record the final six outs.

A bizarre sequence in the eighth as Dodgers center fielder Curtis Granderson appeared to swing and miss at strike three. After plate umpire Jim Wolf conferred with the other umpires, the call was overturned and ruled a foul tip.

Maddon was ejected after a vehement argument with replays being displayed on the video board showing that Granderson did not make contact. Davis officially struck out Granderson on the next pitch, and he also struck out Chase Utley to escape the jam.

"That can't happen," Maddon said. "The process was horrible. ... If Granderson hits the next pitch out, I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap."

Chicago jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second behind solo home runs from Contreras and Baez.

Contreras stood to admire his monster shot, which traveled an estimated 491 feet and slammed off the video board in left field. Baez pulled a towering blast just inside the left field foul pole.

Los Angeles cut the deficit to 2-1 in the following inning on Bellinger's line-drive shot down the right field line. The homer was Bellinger's first of the series and second of the postseason.

Baez homered again in the fifth to increase Chicago's lead to 3-1. He clubbed a low pitch into the first row of the left field bleachers for the first multi-homer postseason game of his career.

Baez became the fifth Cubs player to homer twice in a playoff game. The last player to do so was Aramis Ramirez in Game 4 of the 2003 NLCS.

"Tonight, I just said to myself not to try too much, and I didn't," Baez said. "And there you have it."

NOTES: Cubs 2B Javier Baez entered the night in an 0-for-20 postseason skid. ... Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig hit safely for the fifth time in seven postseason games. ... Cubs OF Albert Almora Jr. batted in the leadoff spot for the first time in the series and went 1-for-4. ... Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal made his series debut and went 0-for-1 with three walks. ... Cubs C Willson Contreras and Dodgers 3B Justin Turner became the third and fourth players to homer off the left field video board in 2017.

Updated October 19, 2017

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