Cubs clinch NLCS; head to World Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO — Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks out-pitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

Seeking their first title since 1908, the Cubs open the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won since 1948.