Chicago Cubs avoid National League playoff series sweep, New York Yankees take lead in American League

Cubs second baseman Javier Baez grabs a ground ball by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier during the third inning in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (AP photo)

CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning for the defending World Series champion Cubs as they closed their deficit to 3-1. Manager Joe Maddon got ejected for the second time in this series in the eighth, and a packed Wrigley Field crowd watched Davis get Cody Bellinger to ground into a game-ending double play.

Maddon was heavily criticized for not using Davis during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. This time, the Cubs closer threw 48 pitches to finish the job.

Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.

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Yankees 5, Astros 0

At New York, Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace for a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009.

Just days ago, Houston was up 2-0 and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans.

Aaron Judge, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius also delivered big hits as New York chased Keuchel in the fifth and handed him his first postseason loss. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner had been Yankees kryptonite throughout his career, entering 6-2 with a 1.09 ERA in eight career starts against New York, including a pair of scoreless outings in playoff wins.