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Dodgers now one win shy of reaching World Series after defeating Cubs 6-1 in NLCS Game 3


The Dodgers once again took care of business in the NLCS against the Cubs, winning 6-1 in Game 3 at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night. They now hold a 3-0 series lead and can punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.

Kyle Schwarber gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead when he slugged a solo home run to the opposite field off of Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, but that was it for offense on the Cubs’ end. Darvish buckled down and held them scoreless for the remainder of his outing.

Andre Ethier tied the game in the top of the second, drilling a solo home run down the right field line off of Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Chris Taylor followed up with a 444-foot home run to straightaway center field, breaking the 1-1 tie. Taylor once again came through in the fifth, knocking in a run with a triple down the left field line. Hendricks finished the night allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts on 82 pitches across five innings.

Darvish drew a bases loaded walk against reliever Carl Edwards, Jr. in the sixth to make it 4-1. He went back out and worked got the first out of the seventh, but manager Dave Roberts decided that was the end of the line. Across 6 1/3 innings, Darvish yielded just the one run on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, throwing 81 pitches in the process. Tony Watson got the final two outs of the seventh on a pop-up and a strikeout.

The Dodgers padded their lead in the eighth, scoring a run on a passed ball and another on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer. Brandon Morrow entered to pitch the bottom of the eighth, working around a one-out walk of Schwarber to bridge the gap to Ross Stripling in the ninth. Stripling gave up a single to Alex Avila followed by a ground-rule double to left field by Albert Almora, Jr., putting runners on second and third. Manager Dave Roberts brought in Kenley Jansen to put out the fire. He did. He got Addison Russell to hit an infield pop-up, then struck out Tommy La Stella and Ian Happ to end the game in a 6-1 victory.

The Dodgers will attempt to close the series out in Game 4, which starts at 9 PM ET on Wednesday night. Alex Wood will make the start opposite the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta. The Dodgers have not appeared in the World Series since beating the Athletics in five games in 1988.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.

MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”