LOS ANGELES (AP) One win away. Two chances at home. Seven decades of waiting.
The Chicago Cubs closed in on their first World Series trip since 1945 by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 of their National League playoff.
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Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series.
On deck, a pair of opportunities to wrap up that elusive pennant at Wrigley Field.
CLEVELAND (AP) - Wild Thing is warming up for the Indians.
Actor Charlie Sheen, who played the bespectacled Ricky ''Wild Thing'' Vaughn in the movie ''Major League,'' has offered to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before one of this year's World Series games.
Shortly after Cleveland won the AL pennant on Wednesday in Toronto, fans began posting their wishes on social media to have Sheen - well, Vaughn - be part of the pregame festivities. The Series opens Tuesday in Cleveland.
Sheen responded to the demand Thursday on Twitter, posting a photo of himself as Vaughn in his Indians uniform and wrote, ''Major League continues to be the gift that keeps on giving! if called upon, I'd be honored.''
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Aaron Rodgers set a record. The Chicago Bears lost another quarterback.
After a slow start in the red zone, the Green Bay Packers picked up the pace in the second half to overpower their offensively-challenged NFC North rivals.
Rodgers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns, Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery emerged as playmakers in the second half and Packers beat the Bears 26-10 on Thursday night.
Rodgers was 39 of 56, setting a franchise mark for completions in a game. It was the Packers' first contest without injured running back Eddie Lacy.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Josh Brown's future with the New York Giants and possibly the NFL is in jeopardy after police released journal entries and emails in which the place-kicker admitted that he repeatedly verbally and physically abused his former wife.
The league reacted Thursday by re-opening its investigation into a 2015 domestic abuse complaint made by Brown's former wife, though prosecutors said they were closing the criminal case without filing charges because they could not secure key testimony from the woman and other key witnesses.
Meanwhile, the Giants announced before traveling to London that Brown wouldn't make the trip for a game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. The Giants said they want to review the new information released by King County law enforcement officials in Washington and reach a decision on the kicker's future with the club, possibly next week.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nneka Ogwumike's short jumper with 3.1 seconds left gave the Los Angeles Sparks a 77-76 victory over the defending champion Minnesota Lynx for their first title in 14 years in the deciding game of the WNBA Finals.
The league MVP joined her teammates in celebration as a stunned crowd slowly filed out after finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Candace Parker had 28 points and 12 rebounds to earn MVP honors of the Finals. It was Parker's first WNBA title.
Parker said she listened to one of Pat Summitt's speeches before the game and that motivated her. Her former coach at Tennessee died in late June.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand has announced his retirement.
Brand was the first overall pick out of Duke in the 1999 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls and was named rookie of the year. Brand played 17 seasons in the NBA and was in his second stint with the Sixers.
He averaged 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds in 1,058 games with the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Sixers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The NCAA accused Louisville of four serious violations and criticized coach Rick Pitino for failing to monitor a former basketball staffer who hired escorts and strippers for sex parties with recruits and players.
The governing body's report didn't mention a lack of institutional control - considered the most serious violation in some cases.
Pitino disputed the finding that he did not monitor Andree McGee, saying his tendency is to over-monitor. If anything, the coach said he was guilty of trusting someone to tell him what was going on.
The NCAA's letter is the first step in a process that could extend into next spring. Louisville has 90 days to respond.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Brett Rypien threw for 442 yards and three touchdowns as No. 14 Boise State overcame five turnovers to hold off BYU 28-27.
The Broncos (7-0), who won their 23rd straight non-conference home game, needed a stout defensive performance and a blocked field goal to secure the win.
Boise State seemed to be battling itself as well as BYU with all the miscues on offense.
BYU (4-4) attempted a 45-yard game-winning field goal with 16 seconds remaining, but Rhett Almond's kick was blocked. However, the ball didn't cross the line of scrimmage and Mitch Juergens recovered for BYU, giving the Cougars the ball at the Boise State 42 with 8 seconds left.