ATLANTA Ninety-five years of frustration. Ninety-five years of ridicule. Put it all to rest. The Chicago Cubs are postseason winners.
Kerry Wood pitched another dominating game and Aramis Ramirez began the celebration with a mammoth home run, pushing the Cubs past Atlanta 5-1 Sunday night for their first postseason victory since the 1908 World Series.
The franchise that endured the College of Coaches and the curse of a goat moves on to play Florida in the NL championship series. Game 1 is Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
The Braves suffered another heartbreaking loss in the postseason, going down for the second year in a row in Game 5 of the division series.
A couple of ex-Pirates helped the Cubs break through in the postseason. Kenny Lofton led off the game with a double and came around to score the first run. Ramirez put the Cubs up 4-0 with a two-run homer in the sixth a massive, 439-foot shot over the center-field wall.
Braves pitcher Mike Hampton didn't even turn around after Ramirez connected. With Wood on the mound, the Cubs could have popped the champagne right then and there.
Wood won for the second time in the best-of-five series with a performance that matched his effort in Game 1.
The big Texan went eight innings, giving up just five hits before giving way to Joe Borowski, an ex-Brave who finished off Atlanta in the ninth.
Notes: For the eighth time in franchise history, the Braves played a decisive postseason game.
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