SAN FRANCISCO -- Kris Bryant tossed his glove high in the air, Jake Arrieta jumped over the dugout railing and the rest of the Chicago Cubs rushed to join the celebration.
Pure revelry and a sigh of relief, all at once.
World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs took another step in their championship chase Tuesday night by rallying for four runs in the ninth inning of Game 4 to beat San Francisco 6-5 and win their NL Division Series.
"You could see it coming. You could see little signs. We've done it before and the guys, we don't quit," Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler said. "It's a little more special doing it here. They for sure were thinking that they won it. But we play 27 outs and we don't give up until we win."
Javier Baez's tiebreaking single capped the comeback against a beleaguered bullpen that sabotaged the Giants one last time.
The team with the best record in the majors this year will open the NL Championship Series at Wrigley Field on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals. That matchup is tied 2-all heading into the deciding Game 5 on Thursday.
"I've seen it so many times from this group. It's a big part of our philosophy," manager Joe Maddon said.
Seeking their first World Series title since 1908, the Cubs will get a few days of rest before opening the NLCS. Chicago was swept by the New York Mets in a four-game NLCS last year (see full recap).
Utley delivers late to help Dodgers force Game 5
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw left with a lead in the seventh inning and the bases loaded. After the bullpen faltered, veterans Chase Utley and Andre Ethier rescued the Dodgers.
Utley singled home the tiebreaking run with two outs in the eighth, and Los Angeles avoided elimination Tuesday with a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals that forced a deciding Game 5 in their NL playoff.
Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for a save, one day after giving up four late runs during Los Angeles' loss in Game 3.
"I got out there and focused and fought," he said.
Game 5 is Thursday in Washington, with 20-game winner Max Scherzer set to pitch for the Nationals.
"Man, this is going to be a heck of a ballgame," Scherzer said. "The effort from both sides over the first four games has been incredible. Great pitching, great hitting, defense, everything."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he will use left-hander Rich Hill and rookie Julio Urias, but did not announce which one will start.
"If anyone gives up on this team, they haven't seen us play a whole lot this year," Roberts said, "and it starts with what Clayton did -- short rest and leaving it all out there. Everyone fed off that" (see full recap).