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Nationals blank Cubs to force fifth game

CHICAGO (AP) — Stephen Strasburg and Michael A. Taylor have allowed the Washington Nationals to force a fifth and deciding game in their NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Strasburg worked seven outstanding innings and Taylor launched a grand slam as the Nats blanked the Cubs, 5-0 at Wrigley Field. The outcome gives the Nationals hope that they can finally win a playoff series for the first time in four tries since the franchise moved from Montreal after the 2004 season.

Strasburg struck out 12 while holding the Cubs to three hits over seven scoreless innings of his first career postseason win. Ben Zobrist was the only Cub to get an extra-base hit off Strasburg, who didn't allow an earned run over his 14 innings of work during the series.

Taylor put the game out of reach with his bases-loaded blast in the eighth off reliever Wade Davis. The game's only other run scored on Addison Russell's error in the third inning.

Game 5 is Thursday in Washington. Kyle Hendricks is slated to start for the Cubs. Gio Gonzalez is the likely starter for Washington, but Max Scherzer will be available after working 6 1/3 innings in Game 3.

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