(The Sports Xchange) – Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell broke out of slumps by hitting home runs, and the Chicago Cubs pounded the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 to even the National League Championship Series at two games apiece Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs, who were shut out the previous two games, broke a scoreless tie with a four-run fourth inning before pulling away.
Game Two is Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
Rizzo and Russell each had three hits, and Rizzo drove in three runs. Rizzo was 1-for-11 in the series before Wednesday, and Russell was 0-for-9.
Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler added two hits apiece for Chicago.
Reliever Mike Montgomery (1-0) struck out two and allowed two hits in two innings for the win. Montgomery relieved starter John Lackey, who went four-plus innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Dodgers rookie pitcher Julio Urias (0-1) gave up four runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. The 20-year-old became the youngest pitcher in major league history to start a playoff game.
A five-run sixth, highlighted by an RBI single by Dexter Fowler and a two-run base hit by Rizzo, blew the game open for Chicago.
The Dodgers believed they scored in the second inning. After Andrew Toles singled to right with two outs, Adrian Gonzalez was called out at the plate by umpire Angel Hernandez on a throw by right fielder Jason Heyward to catcher Willson Contreras. A replay review failed to overturn the call.
In the fourth, the Cubs ended their drought when Contreras’ single drove in Zobrist for 1-0 edge. It was the Chicago’s first run since the eighth inning of Game 1, a span of 21 consecutive innings.
Heyward’s groundout scored Baez, and Russell followed with a two-run shot to right-center off Urias to boost the Cubs’ cushion to 4-0.
Rizzo led off the fifth with a solo blast off reliever Pedro Baez for a 5-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, walks to Toles and pinch hitter Andre Ethier and a single by pinch hitter Howie Kendrick loaded the bases with no outs.
After Montgomery fanned Corey Seager, Justin Turner bounced a two-run single off the reliever’s glove and into shallow left to slice the margin to 5-2. However, Montgomery retired Gonzalez and pinch hitter Enrique Hernandez to end the inning.
(Editing by Andrew Both)
Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/sportsNews/~3/7acgXOAVxCg/us-baseball-playoffs-chc-lad-idUSKCN12K0BW