Turner's walk-off homer lifts Dodgers over Cubs

Rebecca BRYAN, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 16 2017 12:59 PM

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) hits a walk off home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Chicago Cubs in game two of the 2017 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- Justin Turner belted a three-run walkoff homer to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, extending their lead in the National League Championship Series.

The score was knotted at 1-1 with the Dodgers down to one out in the bottom of the ninth when Turner powered a 92 mph (148.06 Km/h) fastball from Cubs hurler John Lackey over the centerfield wall at Dodger Stadium.

Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor, who had both been walked earlier in the inning, also scored as the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead over the reigning World Series champion Cubs in the best-of-seven playoff series.

Third baseman Turner drove in the Dodgers' first run as well with a two-out, run-batted-in single off of cubs starter Jon Lester in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell had opened the scoring with a solo home run off of Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill in the top of the fifth.

Turner's second home run of the post-season came on the 29th anniversary of Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit walk-off home run for the Dodgers in game one of the 1988 World Series -- the last time the Dodgers won the title and their most recent appearance in Major League Baseball's Fall Classic.

The Cubs, who ended a 108-year title drought last season, will try to get back on track when they host game three on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

"Tonight's gotten us one step closer, but there's still a lot of work in front of us, and we're going to enjoy it for a little bit and get back to work and prepare for the next one," Turner said.

The winner of the series will face either the Houston Astros or New York Yankees in the World Series.

The Astros lead the Yankees 2-0 in the American League Championship Series with game three in New York on Monday.

As in Los Angeles' 2-1 win on Saturday, bullpen pitching was key for the Dodgers and Cubs.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Hill after five innings.

Four Dodgers relievers then combined for four near-perfect innings, with only closer Kenley Jansen allowing a base runner when he hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch.

Jansen followed by striking out Wilson Contreras and inducing Albert Almora to ground out to end the top of the ninth.

 'Fairly excited'

Puig was walked by Cubs reliever Brian Duensing to open the bottom of the ninth.

He advanced to second on Charlie Culberson's sacrifice bunt.

After pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer struck out, Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in Lackey to face Chris Taylor, who walked to bring up Turner.

"I hit a ball pretty good to center earlier in the game, and Almora's an unbelievable center fielder," Turner said. "So I was just watching him hoping he wasn't going to catch it. When it did end up going over the fence, obviously I was fairly excited."

Cubs starter Lester, pitching on three-days rest after appearing in relief in game four of the first round, gave up a run on three hits before departing after 4 2/3 innings.

Maddon said lack of scoring, not pitching, was the problem for the Cubs.

"We scored one run today. That's the issue," he said. "We've scored 11 runs in six games during the playoffs. So we just have to become more offensive."

© Agence France-Presse

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