Miguel Montero delivered a memorable swing, Javier Baez stole home with his daring dash down the line, and Jon Lester turned in another steady performance on the mound, reports the AP. It all added up to another dramatic victory for the Chicago Cubs, who are off and running in the NL Championship Series. Montero snapped an eighth-inning tie with the third pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history, and Chicago beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in the opener Saturday night, moving the Cubs a step closer to their first pennant in 71 years. "We hang in there," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We don't give up." Game 2 is Sunday night, with the Dodgers once again in need of a clutch performance from ace Clayton Kershaw. Lester pitched six effective innings, and Dexter Fowler homered after making two diving catches in center field—breaking his belt on the second grab.
Left fielder Ben Zobrist threw out Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, helping Chicago to its first NLCS victory in 13 years. The Cubs pulled out 14 of their major league-best 103 wins this season in their final at-bat. They added two more in the Division Series against playoff-tested San Francisco, including a four-run ninth in the clinching Game 4. And now, this. "We've kind of proved we can overcome adversity in the game," slugger Kris Bryant said. Chicago was swept by the New York Mets in last year's NLCS. Lester & Co. are back again and already in better shape following a crazy eighth inning. The crowd of 42,376 at Wrigley Field roared as Montero rounded the bases and kept cheering until the veteran catcher popped out of the dugout for a curtain call. "We'll be ready tomorrow," says the Dodgers' Gonzalez. "This game gave us a lot of confidence. We know we can beat them."