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

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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.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”