LOS ANGELES - The Cubs' goal all year has been World Series or bust.
They are now just one victory away from reaching the World Series for the first time in a generation (since 1945).
The Cubs took commanding control of the National League Championship Series with an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in front of 54,449 fans in Chavez Ravine Thursday night.
After setting a new franchise record for offensive futility in Game 3, the Cubs stormed back to take the last two games in L.A. and a 3-2 lead with the series heading back to Chicago.
Jon Lester once again proved why the Cubs invested so much in him, tossing seven innings of one-run ball.
The Dodgers tried to throw Lester off his game with crazy leads, dancing off the bag and giving the veteran southpaw something to think about.
"People have been doing it all year," Lester said. "I just got done saying earlier, I'd prefer Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson to try to bunt. They're home run guys. They hit 30 homers, so I'd rather them put the ball on the ground and let these guys try to field it and take my chances that way."
But all that gamesmanship only netted one run off Lester - when Howie Kendrick doubled, stole third base and then scored on a grounder that Anthony Rizzo mishandled.
Offensively, Addison Russell came through with the big blow for the second night in a row.
Dexter Fowler led the game off with a single and Rizzo doubled him home, but the Cubs let too many other opportunities slip past them in the early innings.
Until Russell's at-bat in the sixth.
With the game tied 1-1 and Javy Baez standing on second base after a Jason Heyward strikeout, Russell deposited Joe Blanton's offering into the bleachers in left-center.
"I was just trying to find some gaps," Russell said. "I was looking for something up in the zone to drive. First pitch slider a little bit low. Second pitch was a slider, but it was elevated and I put the barrel on it, and it kind of went. But just rounding bases it was pretty exciting. Pumped up.
"Not only for myself, but for the team and that little cushion that Jonny had to go forward from that, and I felt really good."
That was all Lester needed, but the Cubs tacked on anyways.
Russell led off the eighth by Respecting 90 to force a Dodgers error and Willson Contreras followed with a single.
After an Albert Almora sacrifice bunt, Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant each legged out RBI infield singles to give the Cubs a more comfortable cushion.
A few batters later, Baez created even more breathing room with a three-run double to make it an 8-1 ballgame.
Lester now has a 2.50 career ERA in 119 postseason innings.
This fall, he has an 0.86 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in three playoff starts spanning 21 innings.
The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound against Clayton Kershaw in Game 6 at Wrigley Field Saturday night.
"It's going to be a formidable event," said manager Joe Maddon. "Our guys will absolutely be ready for the moment. I promise you that. It's great. The city of Chicago has got to be buzzing pretty much right now. I expect a sellout at Wrigley. It will be a lot of fun."