CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo delivered a go-ahead, two-out RBI single in the eighth inning as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Monday.
The victory gave the defending World Series champions a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series heading into Game 4 Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Rizzo dropped a bloop single into shallow center field off Oliver Perez to score pinch-runner Leonys Martin, who replaced Tommy La Stella after he led off the eighth inning with a walk.
Cubs closer Wade Davis preserved the victory with a scoreless ninth inning. Carl Edwards Jr. (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Brandon Kintzler (0-1) took the loss.
After being held without a hit by Nationals starter Max Scherzer for 6 1/3 innings, the Cubs tied the game at 1 in the seventh. Ben Zobrist's double into the gap in left-center broke up Scherzer's no-hitter before pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. followed with an RBI single off of reliever Sammy Solis.
Scherzer, who started Monday's game after after battling a hamstring injury, baffled the Cubs until Zobrist's double. The reigning National League Cy Young winner left after striking out seven and walking one and allowing just the one hit. His effort came after Chicago didn't collect a hit off Stephen Strasburg for 5 2/3 innings in the series opener -- a 3-0 Cubs victory.
The Nationals took 1-0 lead in the sixth inning on Ryan Zimmerman's two-out RBI double. Daniel Murphy extended the inning when he reached on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the inning after he lifted a fly ball to left field that Kyle Schwarber dropped and then kicked.
Murphy scored on Zimmerman's double over center fielder Jon Jay's head off reliever Pedro Strop. The Cubs won despite committing four errors.
Jose Quintana, who made the first postseason start of his career, allowed just two hits over 5 2/3 innings and struck out seven and walked one.
The Nationals threatened in the third inning when they put runners on first and third with two outs. After Michael A. Taylor singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, Washington extended the inning when Zobrist, the Cubs' second baseman, booted a Bryce Harper ground ball.
But Quintana got out of the jam when he got Anthony Rendon to fly out to right field. An inning later, Jay again kept the Nationals from scoring when he robbed Matt Wieters of an extra-base hit with a lunging catch in center after Quintana walked Jayson Werth with two outs.
NOTES: Nationals SS Trea Turner continued to struggle in the leadoff spot. Turner went 0-for-4 in Game 3 and is now 0-for-12 for the series. ... Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta will make his first start since Sept. 26 when he takes the mound for the Cubs in Game 4. Arrieta missed 2 1/2 weeks with a right hamstring injury, but said after throwing two bullpen sessions, the injury would be a "non-issue." ... Cubs manager Joe Maddon elected to keep 2B Javier Baez on the bench on Monday in favor of Ben Zobrist to allow for another left-handed bat against Nationals RHP Max Scherzer.