Cubs right ‘roller coaster’ start to a thrill-ride sweep of champs

Unheralded Matt Duffy lined a two-out single up the middle to tie the game in the 11th. The guy who had the day off drove home the winner two batters later.

And just like that, a Cubs team that dumped its best pitcher over the winter, played its worst April in seven years and considers this season a year of transition swept the defending-champion, prohibitive-favorite Dodgers out of town with a second straight extra-inning win.

What in the name of Tuffy Rhodes is going on at Wrigley Field these days?

“It’s a huge confidence boost,” said Duffy, who has been one of the Cubs’ best hitters this side of Kris Bryant the last two weeks.

The walkoff heroics on this night belonged to Anthony Rizzo, who entered the game defensively in the 10th, and one inning later delivered the walkoff single through the vacated shortstop hole on a right-side defensive shift to drive home the winner in a 6-5 Cubs victory.

Until this week the Cubs had won only two of their first nine series. They had lost seven of nine entering a series against a Dodgers team that had been in three of the last four World Series and sent its top three starters to the mound in the series: Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler.

To win the series, much less sweep it, looked improbable at best — even if the Dodgers had struggled in recent series…

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